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Viewpoint: California’s coffee cancer label isn’t backed by evidence—and could do more harm than good

| | April 27, 2018

About two-thirds of smokers will die early from cigarette-based illnesses. Cigarettes are also very addictive. Because of this, it seems reasonable to place warnings on their labels.

If a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has his way, California businesses will have to put similar warnings on something else that can be addictive, coffee. His ruling, which is being challenged by coffee producers, is harder to justify in terms of health — if it can be justified at all.

Like many other substances, acrylamide causes cancer in rats — when they are pumped full of huge doses in ways that don’t approximate real life.

In humans, the data are far less clear. The American Cancer Society (which does not shrink from saying things cause cancer) reports on its website that “there are currently no cancer types for which there is clearly an increased risk related to acrylamide intake.”

Other organizations, such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer, have warned that acrylamide is a “probable human carcinogen.” But this is based almost entirely on animal studies, and the agency has backpedaled in recent years. It’s also worth pointing out that of the nearly 1,000 substances the agency has classified, it has ruled almost none to be non-carcinogenic.

If Americans slap a label on every substance that has the potential to cause cancer, eventually those labels will stop having any meaning.

Read full, original post: California, Coffee and Cancer: One of These Doesn’t Belong

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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