Coffee with Cream, Sugar… and Cancer

Just when you think California can’t get any sillier… it decides to slap a cancer warning on coffee.

A California judge recently ruled in favor of a non-profit organization that sued coffee sellers in California for not properly labeling coffee beverages with a warning that they may contain compounds that contribute to cancer.

Bear with me. This is ridiculous on so many levels.

When roasting coffee some of the carbohydrates react with a naturally occurring amino acid to create a compound called acrylamide. Acrylamide can be mutagenic to DNA, which means it can cause cancer if you are exposed to high enough levels.

Coffee simply doesn’t contain enough acrylamide to be a worry. The World Health Organization removed coffee from its list of possible carcinogens in 2016. And the American Cancer Society isn’t convinced that there’s genuine link between acrylamide and cancer.

So, the case in California is built largely on speculation and fear.

Then there’s the fact that coffee is a healthy beverage. It’s associated with a lower risk of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. It may lower heart disease risks as well. So, in California they are slapping a scary label on a beverage that may actually be helping your health. It makes no sense.

But I haven’t gotten to the kicker yet.

This case was brought to court by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics under a law passed in 1986 that allows California citizens, including advocacy groups, to sue on behalf of the state. If penalties are levied, the group collects a portion.

In this case, the courts are now weighing whether or not coffee sellers will have to pay a $2,500 fine for every person exposed to their improper labeling — and for every day they were exposed — over the course of eight years.

Yes, that’s basically $2,500 for every cup of coffee sold in California for the last 8 years. I won’t even attempt the math, but the number is astronomical. And the Council for Education and Research on Toxics will get a portion.

Do you think they brought this case forward out of concern for people’s health… or out of a desire to line their own pockets?

Read the full story here and then decide on their motives for yourself.