Superior court judge has ruled coffee isn’t healthy
A Californian superior court judge has ruled that global caffeine giant, Starbucks, amongst many other coffee companies, must add cancer warning labels on their products or face fines.
Judge Elihu Berle ruled that “defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving… that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.
Starbucks and 90 other companies were recently sued by non-profit group – The Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) – for a wide range of chemicals that cause cancer or birth defects.
The case is yet to be concluded and has been developing over a period of eight years, the third phase of the trial will determine the number of penalties that companies will have to pay if they don’t adhere to the new laws.
Fines may reach up to $2,500 for clients who have frequently visited Starbucks for the past eight years.
The coffee industry hit back by defending the alleged “health properties” of coffee. According to William Murray, president and CEO of the National Coffee Association: “Coffee has been shown, over and over again, to be a healthy beverage,”
RT reports:” In 2010, the California-based CERT claimed that the coffee served at Starbucks contained high levels of acrylamide. According to the group, the threat came from a chemical compound produced in the process of roasting coffee beans. That substance was said to be noxious and carcinogenic.
The coffee industry insisted its products wouldn’t have the same taste if the beans weren’t roasted at high temperatures. It said that the chemical was present at harmless levels and shouldn’t cause any concern, but failed to demonstrate compelling evidence.
“While [the] plaintiff offered evidence that consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, to infants, to children and to adults, defendants’ medical and epidemiology experts testified that they had no opinion on causation,” Judge Berle said.
Many coffee companies have already agreed to post warnings about acrylamide. However, many of those warnings were almost invisible to their customers due to placement below serving counters. Starbucks claimed that labelling its cups with cancer warnings would be misleading and alarming to consumers, as the beverage has always been largely considered to be a healthy product.
The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known as California’s Proposition 65, the same provision that condemned the coffee industry, insists that signs warning residents about the risk of cancer should be placed everywhere. Even at Disneyland.