California agency seeks to strike carcinogens warnings on coffee

California agency seeks to strike carcinogens warnings on coffee
© Getty Images

A California agency has proposed a regulation that would get rid of a cancer warning placed on coffee, The Associated Press reported.

California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment took the unprecedented action on Friday after reviewing more than 1,000 studies published this week by the World Health Organization that found little evidence coffee causes cancer.

“The proposed regulation would state that drinking coffee does not pose a significant cancer risk, despite the presence of chemicals created during the roasting and brewing process that are listed under Proposition 65 as known carcinogens,” the agency said in a statement, according to the AP.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The proposed regulation is based on extensive scientific evidence that drinking coffee has not been shown to increase the risk of cancer and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer,” it added.

In 1986, state voters passed a law requiring a warning be placed on chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects. One of those chemicals was acrylamide, which is a byproduct of coffee roasting and brewing.

If approved, the proposed regulation could be a win for the coffee industry, which lost an 8-year-old lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court over a law that could require warnings be placed on all packaged coffee sold in the state, the AP reported.

The agency’s regulation would go against the ruling and contradict its own report from more than a decade ago that said there was a significant cancer risk in drinking coffee.

The proposal comes a week after bipartisan bills were introduced in both chambers of Congress that would require labels on foods and other products be scientifically backed, The New York Times noted.