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Coffee Shops warn against cancer risk: is it necessary?



Coffee enthusiasts in California will soon be given a bit of concern when they get their solution: A judge ruled that coffee shops in the state must issue a warning signal that the drink poses an increased risk of cancer.

Los Angeles Justice Elihu Berle of the Supreme Court voted in favor of a nonprofit group, the Education and Toxicology Council, which advocated the warning of a chemical from the coffee roasting process called acrylamide. The non-profit association sued the coffee industry for allegations that the acrylamide content in coffee posed a significant risk, and Berle ruled that the defendants, which consisted of companies such as Starbucks and Peets, did not provide sufficient refutation. The applicant has submitted evidence that the consumption of coffee increases the risk of fetal harm, children, children and adults, the defendants' physicians and epidemiologists testified that they had no opinion on the causality, Berle wrote in his proposal the Washington Post . "The defendants failed to substantiate their evidence by providing overwhelming evidence that the consumption of coffee is an asset to human health."

The Judge's verdict is pending, but it is likely to continue, with the final step in the eight-year suit being a ruling on what the coffee companies will be responsible for. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics has demanded fines of up to $ 2,500 for every acrylamide person since 2002.

Cancer researchers say, however, that acrylamide, which is mainly used in plant foods cooked at high temperatures, bread, chips and more pose little or no risk to humans.

"There is acrylamide in coffee, but we speak of very, very low values. Geoffrey Kabat, a cancer epidemiologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and author of Getting Risk Right tells people. "Acrylamide is measured in foods in units of parts per billion, and to give you an idea of ​​one part per billion, it's a drop of ink in the largest tankers used to transport gasoline, a decimal with nine zeros In 2004, the FDA conducted surveys and the amount of acrylamide in conventional coffees ranged from 609 ppm (undetectable) and is therefore considered very low. "

In 201

6, the World Health Organization removed coffee from its list of possible ones Carcinogens "And the American Cancer Society says there are currently no cancers where the risk of acrylamide intake is clearly elevated." However, they recognize the need for further research on this topic.

Dr. Kabat adds that there have been hundreds of studies on the health benefits of coffee over the last 20 years.

"We have tremendous amounts of information about the effects of coffee on humans and the studies of hundreds of people thousands of people with various cancers and diseases, and what they all find is that there is no association of coffee with either Cancer is protective, or coffee is protective, and it's true for cancers such as liver, endometrial, and menopausal breast cancers, as well as non-cancerous conditions, and it looks like coffee can be good for you ", he says.

Dr. Kabat believes that the Toxic Substances Education and Research Council "does a tremendous disservice to people" by discouraging them from drinking coffee.

"It does not help anyone," he says. "These choices are what science calls forth, but we've seen from studies that there is no evidence that coffee is harmful, it scares people, it keeps people focused on the wrong things, and it does not provide useful guidance what people should do. "


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