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Lawsuit Demands CA Coffee Shops Display Cancer Warning

By George Khoury, Esq. on February 08, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A case that has been working its way through the California courts for most of the last decade is making headlines again as another big defendant, 7-11, decided to settle before the judge issues his ruling. The lawsuit, filed by the nonprofit group Council for Education and Research on Toxics, seeks to hold coffee makers liable for not warning consumers about the presence of acrylamide in coffee, which, according to California's legislature, is on the list of cancer causing agents.

As part of the relief requested by the lawsuit (which was tried to the bench last year and is still awaiting a decision), in addition to the fines and penalties under the law, the plaintiffs want the court to order defendants to put up written warnings that their coffee contains cancer causing agents.

Coffee shops might want to start diversifying their tea and non-coffee offerings.

Cancer in a Coffee Cup

Apparently, the acrylamide forms when coffee beans are roasted. And though some efforts have been made to study how to prevent this chemical reaction, no solution has been found to work.

The attorney representing the nonprofit, in lamenting his own addiction to coffee, explained that the plaintiffs' main goal is the elimination or reduction of acrylamide in coffee. Defendants in the case argued that the levels found in coffee are safe.

But before you go throwing out all your coffee beans, there are countless experts out there saying that drinking coffee is not only safe, but also good for you. Furthermore, if you're going to toss your coffee, you may also want to give up potatoes and most baked goods as well, because those contain acrylamide as well.

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