A recent lawsuit in California and other coffee shops resulted in mandatory posting of signs in shops serving coffee – that’s right, coffee. The new carcinogen known to California to contain……. a substance. Prop 65 is well known for creating similar environments for trivial health risks, and this one is no different. The carcinogen in question is acrylamide – a chemical that is formed formed from an amino acid when vegetables are cooked.
The major food sources of acrylamide are French fries and potato chips; crackers, bread, and cookies; breakfast cereals; canned black olives; prune juice; and coffee. However, a large number of epidemiologic studies (both case-control and cohort studies) in humans have found no consistent evidence that dietary acrylamide exposure is associated with the risk of any type of cancer. –The National Cancer Institute
Since there is no real evidence that coffee causes cancer – anymore than bread or cookies – the lawsuit seems trivial, unless you follow the money. Prop 65 allows penalties of $2500 per day the signs were not displayed indicating the sale of carcinogens. So the real threat to health may be the health of California business rather than coffee consumers.
Perhaps over-regulation is a reason for the mass exodus from that state in the last few years? Drink your coffee folks…. and stay away from California – there is a plague out there.