Coffee Loses In California Court

Starbucks is just one of many coffee vendors in the state of California that recently found themselves in court. The outcome wasn’t in favor of the popular caffeinated drink companies either.


A suit, originally filed in 2010, by The Council for Education and Research on Toxics was aimed at Starbucks as well as other coffee vendors in the state of California for failing to provide what they call clear and reasonable warnings of known carcinogens that are contained within the drinks. When coffee beans are roasted they contain a carcinogen called acrylamide. When acrylamide was studied in a laboratory setting, it was shown to increase cancer risks in the animals in the study. Under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, often referred to as Proposition 65, businesses are required by law to provide a clear warning label informing all customers of any chance of exposure in the products that are known to cause birth defects or linked to causing cancer.


For their part, the National Coffee Association was quick to release a statement clarifying that not only were they considering appealing the case in court, but they feel that providing a warning label on coffee would be very misleading to customers. Coffee, in fact, has been proven over and over to be considered a drink that has some health benefits. In 2016, the World Health Organization took coffee off their list of carcinogens and even went on to state that regular consumption of the popular beverage could lower chances of chronic diseases as well as the risk of liver cancer.


While the court case is over and the ruling was in favor of The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, the judge did issue a proposed ruling against the coffee companies. A proposed ruling means that he has the right to change his mind should he so choose, and with the National Coffee Association citing the World Health Organization’s stance, there is a likely chance that an appeal could alter that ruling. For now, prepare to see a change in coffee houses in California making sure customers are aware of what they are consuming. Civil penalties have not yet been issued but are expected to follow the current ruling. For more information, click here.

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