Starbucks and co must provide coffee with cancer warning: Starbucks and other coffee vendors are to provide their coffee products with a cancer warning. This has been decided by a judge in the US state of California. Apparently, the companies could not prove that a chemical compound produced during roasting was not harmful to health.
Coffee products must be labeled with cancer warnings:
In the state of California, a judge ruled that the coffeehouse chain will have to warn Starbucks and other coffee makers of their coffee products in the future from cancer risks. Judge Elihu M. Berle said, according to a Los Angeles Times report, that companies could not prove that the danger posed by a chemical compound produced by roasting coffee was negligible.
The ruling was made after the non-governmental organization “CERT” (“Council for Education and Research on Toxics”) filed suit against more than 90 coffee roasters because they would not warn against a high concentration of acrylamide in their products.
This substance is among over 850 confirmed or suspected carcinogens that must be warned by California law.
Berle explained that scientists who testified on behalf of coffee companies have not proven that the content of acrylamide in their products is acceptable.
Acrylamide in food: Acrylamide has long been suspected of causing cancer.
For example, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warned years ago of the increased risk of acrylamide in food-borne cancer.
Although the British Food Standards Agency (FSA) also reports on its website that this substance has been shown to be carcinogenic in animal studies, it is lacking in humans.
Genotoxic substance is formed during strong heating
Acrylamide is produced by the strong heating of starchy foods, which also contain the amino acid asparagine.
From temperatures of around 120 degrees, acrylamide forms in such foods, a substance that is genotoxic. That is, it damages the DNA.
In the past, investigations in chips, fried potatoes and frozen chips often found high acrylamide contents.
“The highest content of acrylamide potato products such as chips, potato pancakes and French fries and cereal products such as crispbread, crackers and biscuits,” writes the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in a statement. But coffee also contains, depending on the degree of roast, more or less acrylamide.
Effects on the taste: According to Berle, the plaintiff was able to provide evidence of adverse health effects, while the defendant could not refute them.
According to the Los Angeles Times report, the coffee industry claimed it was impossible to eliminate acrylamide without affecting taste. In addition, the amount contained harmless.
CERT attorney Raphael Metzger said he hopes the judge’s decision will make companies commit to reducing acrylamide levels in coffee.
“If my addiction forces me to drink coffee, I would prefer to drink acrylamide-free coffee,” says Metzger. About the companies he said: “They just do not want to change. They want to carry on as before. ”
Both sides now have the opportunity to appeal. Then Berle wants to make the final decision.
According to the judge, the law provides that a consumer could receive compensation of between one US cent and 2,500 US dollars if he was not warned that he was exposed to a dangerous chemical.