The public interest group Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) claims that coffee should be sold with a Surgeon General-like warning because it contains low levels of a carcinogen, a substance capable of causing cancer. CERT filed suit in California against almost 70 companies, claiming they are violating a California law that requires warning labels on any products containing carcinogens. The companies, including Starbucks and other coffee sellers, are fighting the suit to prevent such a warning requirement.
Coffee Sellers Claim Low Levels of Acrylamide Pose No Risk
The coffee sellers argue that while coffee does contain the carcinogen acrylamide, it is not enough to pose a health risk. They point out that acrylamide is also found in toast, cereal, roast asparagus, and baby food. The American College of Physicians claims coffee lowers the risk of death from a number of diseases, but CERT’s lawyer claims these are only hypotheses. If the California courts find that such a warning requirement is required by law, this will not be the last lawsuit on this topic.