Coffee is going to be treated just like cigarettes in the state of California, as a carcinogenic product. Coffee sellers must put Cancer Warning Labels on the coffee sold, according to Los Angeles Superior Court rule on Wednesday.
Starbucks along with 90 coffee retailers are accused of violating a California law requiring companies to warn consumers of chemicals in their products that could cause cancer.
Acrylamide, a cancer cause chemical, has been found in high levels in the coffee bean roasting process and is the evidence of the lawsuit filed in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) against Coffee Sellers.
Starbucks lost the first phase of the trial in which it failed to show the level of acrylamide in coffee has been removed. In the second phase of the trial, defendants failed to prove there was an acceptable “alternative” risk level for the carcinogen, court documents showed.
“Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.” Wrote in her decision Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle.
“Coffee had been shown to be a healthy beverage,” said the CEO of the National Coffee Association and added, “This lawsuit has confused consumers, and does nothing to improve public health.”
The U.S. government’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle, but (CERT) the tiny company who is fighting against the coffee industry giants insist on removing the Acrylamide carcinogenic chemical before the coffee goes to the consumers.
A statement from the National Coffee Association (NCA) said the industry was considering an appeal.
Several defendants agreed to post signage about the cancer-linked chemical and not pay millions in fines.