Does Coffee Really Cause Cancer? California Now Requires Warning Labels

While everyone agrees that caffeine gives us a necessary jolt of energy, the jury is still out on whether or not coffee is really good for you. Compounding the confusion, a Los Angeles judge ruled last week that all coffee cups in California now require a cancer warning!

Warning: May Contain Cancer

The court ruled on a lawsuit brought by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics way back in 2010. They sued approximately 90 coffee vendors, including national chains like Starbucks, in Los Angeles Superior Court, on the grounds that the vendors violated state law by not warning consumers that coffee contained carcinogens. The lawsuit pointed out that coffee contained acrylamide, a compound linked to an elevated risk of cancer.

The National Coffee Association shot back and claimed that the acrylamide in coffee is a natural part of the brewing process (not an adding chemical or preservative) and found in such tiny amounts that it poses no risk to consumers. Well, the judge disagreed. The court ruled that coffee vendors must now put warning labels on coffee beverages or face hefty fines!

So, does coffee cause cancer–or, to be clear, does coffee contain carcinogens that may increase your cancer risk? The short answer is: we don’t know. Coffee is still considered part of a normal lifestyle by many–now, it just comes with a big warning label!