Does a cancer risk lurk in your morning cup of coffee? Many coffee addicts are skeptical about a California judge's recent ruling requiring cancer warnings on coffee purchased within the state.
The ruling came after an eight-year legal struggle by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics. The not-for-profit took the coffee industry to court under a California law that requires warnings if chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects are present.
Coffee-roasting creates a chemical byproduct called acrylamide that's a carcinogen; it's found in many foods that are cooked. CERT fought a similar legal battle over potato chips several years ago, and the industry agreed to remove the chemical.
Many coffee and healthcare professionals, oppose the court's coffee ruling. "On a 'cancer worry' scale from 0 to 10, coffee should be solidly at 0 and smoking at 10; they should not have similar warning labels," Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, wrote on his blog.
It will be interesting to see how this new cancer warning affects the coffee industry in California.