YUMA, Ariz. - A recent article on Forbes reveals that coffee shops in the state of California may soon post-cancer warnings. Acrylamide, a chemical linked to cancer, was found in coffee beans when roasted.
While studies show that acrylamide exposure in rodents at a high dosage can lead to a risk of cancer, it's harder to tell for humans because of the challenge to determine how much of the chemical is in the diet of a human, and the rate of metabolizing the chemicals differ as well.
A settled lawsuit in 2010 filed by the Council For Education and Research on Toxins, stated that the coffee houses must give clear and reasonable warnings which give consumers awareness of the chemicals in their food.
Thirteen companies, including Starbucks and 7-Eleven, have agreed to pay fines and post the warning in their stores while those who haven't, will meet in private later next week.
According to the World Health Organization, coffee has shown inconclusive evidence of being carcinogenic. The organization went as far as moving coffee off their "possible carcinogen" list.
While there are numerous benefits of drinking coffee such as lower risk of liver disease and depression, coffee is a heated beverage that also weighs against it.
Heated beverages over time can damage cells in the esophagus which could lead to DNA damage.
One Yuma resident expressed how he wasn't surprised about the revelation about the cancer risk.
"My first reaction is well...They should just put warning labels on everything in California if they want to. It doesn't surprise me that they want to put a label on it. Everything causes cancer. I enjoy coffee. It's one of the things in life that makes life worth living," Yuma resident Art Sanchez said.
Coffee retailers aren't the only one who had to make settlements on the carcinogen chemical. In 2008, the California Attorney General settled lawsuits against retailers such as Heinz and Frito-Lay when the chemical was also found in potato chips and french fries. The company has since reduced the levels of acrylamide in their products.
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