Cancer Warnings On Coffee Is A Mistake

Jeff Stier
Senior Fellow
Consumer Choice Center

Cancer Warnings On Coffee Is A Mistake

Washington, D.C. –Last week a California Judge ruled that coffee companies such as Starbucks will be required to place cancer warnings on coffee sold in the State of California. The ruling has come after Starbucks, and other coffee companies were sued for allegedly violating California law which mandates that companies warn consumers if cancer-causing chemicals are present in their products. The chemical in question for coffee is acrylamide, which is a byproduct of the roasting process.

The Consumer Choice Center’s Senior Fellow Jeff Stier criticized the move, stating the broad acceptance of IARC classifications challenges the very meaning of the word “carcinogen”. Stier said ”IARC monographs are hazard assessments, which ask whether something could potentially cause cancer.”

“That designation is of little value to the public without a risk assessment, which takes into account factors such as the level of exposure to the hazard. Think of it this way: Getting hit by a subway car is a hazard. If you live in the desert, getting hit by a subway is still a hazard – it’s just not a risk you should worry about where you live. Yet in the U.S, IARC’s hazard assessments are routinely used by zealous environmentalists as an acceptable substitute for risk assessments. And they are now being embedded into American consumer law,” said Stier

“The biggest example is California’s Proposition 65, a law that requires cancer and birth defect warning labels on a range of products containing chemicals thought to be dangerous. The list of chemicals covered by the 1986 law has ballooned to more than 900, in part because unelected California bureaucrats decided to rely on IARC for identifying those to be added to the list. Ubiquitous California warning labels have become meaningless to consumers, cost businesses millions of dollars each year, and are a boon only to class-action lawyers.”

***CCC Senior Fellow Jeff Stier is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Scroll to top