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Starbucks, other coffee companies must have cancer warning sign, California judge rules



California State Courthouse Judge Elihu Berle has joined the charitable organization, which pleaded the case against dozens of coffee companies, including Starbucks, Peets, and other chains. (REUTERS / Jorge Silva)

Bad News, Coffee Drinkers: A Californian judge has ruled that coffee companies across the state must carry a cancer warning sign because of a carcinogen present in the brewed beverage.

Superior Judge Elihu Berle challenged a charitable case against dozens of coffee companies, including Starbucks, Peets, and other chains, stating that companies that sold coffee violated a government law, and companies with at least 10 employees spread of Carcinogens and Other Diseases Requires Toxic Chemicals

"While the plaintiff provided evidence that the consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, infants, children and adults, the medical experts and epidemiologists testified that they had no opinion on causality, "Berle wrote. "The defendants failed to substantiate their evidence by providing overwhelming evidence that the consumption of coffee is an asset to human health."

Acrylamide is a known carcinogen that naturally occurs when baking or frying food. It is produced in coffee beans when roasted and prevalent in brewed mugs.

Berle's verdict, reported by the Associated Press, stated that no side has denied that acrylamide is present in coffee. She wrote that the defendants had not shown that it poses any risk to coffee or health benefits. According to the Associated Press the defense was burdened by showing that acrylamide in coffee would not lead to one or more cancers per 100,000 people, but the judge said the risk had not been properly assessed.

The case was filed nearly eight years ago; Berle's verdict is preliminary, but is unlikely to be reversed. The third phase of the process will determine the civil penalties for which the coffee companies are responsible.

In addition to the warning signs that could result from the lawsuit, the Council for Education and Research on Toxic, which has filed the lawsuit, has asked for fines of up to $ 2,500 for each person who has been using the chemical since 2002 was exposed, potentially opening the door to massive settlements. Starbucks is the main defendant in this case; others like 7-Eleven have already settled down. Starbucks did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Some have accused lawyers of using government regulations to exclude some of the chemicals naturally found in uncooked food for settlement funds; Fried potatoes contain acrylamide, and the same law firm represented the nonprofit in a lawsuit against chip makers.

The nonprofit complaint in the coffee box argues that a 12-ounce serving of coffee contains a statistically significant amount of acrylamide.

According to Tim Carman of the Washington Post, "the scientific evidence linking acrylamide to cancer in humans is low."

According to the American Cancer Society, studies have shown that acrylamide increases the risk of cancer in rats and mice. The chemical is placed in the animals' drinking water at doses "1000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels humans are exposed to in food." Society does not yet know how the results will be transmitted to humans, but it suggests their intake of acrylamide

As with human studies, the American Cancer Society states: "Most studies so far have not shown an increased risk of cancer in humans For some cancers, such as kidney, endometrial and ovarian cancers, the results are mixed, but there are currently no cancers where the risk of acrylamide intake is clearly elevated. "

Coffee was the subject of a seemingly endless number of studies, they show that it is good for you, bad for you and maybe not at all.

A recent analysis of coffee studies showed that several "probable" evidence found that coffee consumption was actually associated with a reduced risk of many cancers, including the breast, colon and prostate, concluding that "coffee can be part of a healthy diet. "

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