LOS ANGELES • Starbucks and other coffee sellers must put a cancer warning on coffee sold in California, a Los Angeles judge has ruled.
The Council for Education and Research on Toxics, a not-for-profit group, had sued about 90 coffee retailers, including Starbucks, on the grounds they were violating a state law requiring companies to warn consumers of chemicals in their products that could cause cancer.
One of those chemicals is acrylamide, a by-product of roasting coffee beans that is present in high levels in brewed coffee.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said Starbucks and other companies had failed to show there was no significant risk from a carcinogen produced during the coffee-roasting process.
Starbucks and other defendants have until April 10 to file objections to the decision. Starbucks declined to comment, referring reporters to a statement by the National Coffee Association (NCA) that said the industry was considering an appeal and further legal actions.
"Cancer warning labels on coffee would be misleading. The United States government's own dietary guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle," the NCA statement said.