A Los Angeles County Superior Judge has ruled that all coffee shops and sellers in the state of California must label their product and warn their consumers about potential cancer risk from drinking coffee. This judgement follows from a lawsuit first filed in 2010, and refers to protections under California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. The judge ruled that the coffee companies failed to meet the burden of proof that coffee caused no harm.
The justification is that acrylamide, which is found in roasted coffee beans, has been linked to cancer in rats. Relatively small amounts of acrylamide is common in many food items besides coffee. The levels that cause cancer in rats are much higher than those consumed through coffee and diet in general.