The National Coffee Association in the US says California is to correct confusing, contradictory advice about coffee and cancer.
The NCA said it applauded a decision by the authorities in the state that coffee should not carry a Proposition 65 ‘cancer warning’ due to naturally occurring compounds formed when coffee is roasted.
California’s state regulator, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), concluded the substantial weight of evidence in scientific literature shows no association between coffee and a risk of cancer.
“We represent an industry that brews the number one source of antioxidants in the US diet. Dozens of studies suggest that coffee drinkers live longer, have healthier hearts and are happier,” said NCA President and CEO Bill Murray.
OEHHA first announced its intention to remove coffee from Prop 65 in June 2018, initiating a period of rigorous public consultation, peer review by the Carcinogen Identification Committee and approval by the California Office of Administrative Law before the finalization of the ruling on 31 May 2019.
Mr Murray described the decision as “a seminal moment for the coffee industry and the billions of people around the world who enjoy coffee.”
“Because of lawsuits filed in California by an organization working ‘in the public interest,’ some coffee companies have posted Prop 65 warning signs in coffee shops and applied them to their product,” said Mr Murray. “These labels and signs have confused consumers – for good reason. The very idea of ‘cancer warnings’ for coffee contradicts the overwhelming real-world evidence. “
Mr Murray noted that hundreds of independent, peer-reviewed scientific studies – not funded by the industry – show that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of serious diseases including liver cancer, endometrial cancer, melanoma, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes – and more. Research also suggests that coffee drinkers may live longer than non-coffee drinkers.
“The body of research regarding coffee and cancer was reviewed recently by the World Health Organization, which concluded that coffee is not carcinogenic and may even help protect against some types of cancer,” Mr Murray said.
“Coffee, when roasted, naturally, contains trace amounts of a chemical called acrylamide – which, all by itself, requires a ‘cancer’ warning – even though coffee itself doesn’t cause cancer. But now, the State has moved to correct this confusing contradiction,” Mr Murray said.
“California has joined the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines in recognizing coffee’s place in a healthy diet.”