LA court asks Starbucks, all coffee sellers to display cancer warning on products

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A Los Angeles court has asked Starbucks and other coffee sellers to provide a cancer warning on all of their products sold in California. The judgment came from court after a non-profit organization sued coffee sellers including Starbucks in 2010.

According to the lawsuit, coffee makers and sellers are recommended to issue cancer warning in their products, as acrylamide, one of the chemicals used during the roasting process is a carcinogen.

More than 90 companies were sued as a part of the lawsuit, and their attorneys informed the court that acrylamide is present only in a very small quantity in their products. They also added that the negative effects of acrylamide far outweigh compared to positive benefits of drinking a cup of hot coffee.

After the hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said that Starbucks and 90 other companies listed had failed to show there was no significant risk from acrylamide used during the coffee roasting process.

"Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health," said Berle, Livemint reports.

The judgment from the Los Angeles court came just two years after the International Agency for Research on Cancer - the cancer agency of the World Health Organization removed coffee out of the list of cancer-causing products.

Starbucks and other defendants have time until April 10 to appeal the decision of the Los Angeles court. Starbucks has not commented anything regarding the issue, while the National Coffee Association (NCA) hinted about appealing the decision and taking other legal aids to overturn this judgment.

NCA maintains that warning labels on coffee products will mislead people in a time where US government's own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle.