A judge in California has ruled that coffee now must come with a warning that it contains a substance that is capable of causing cancer.


So here is the short version: when certain foods, mainly things that come from plants, are cooked, fried, roasted, baked, or broiled a substance called acrylamide is created. So when coffee beans are roasted acrylamide is formed. It is not present before the roasting. Because a known carcinogen of some amount is created, the judge says it must come with a warning.

Acrylamide has been found to increase the risk of several types of cancer when given to lab animals (rats and mice) in their drinking water. The doses of acrylamide given in these studies have been as much as 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the levels people might be exposed to in foods. It’s not clear if these results would apply to people as well, but in general it makes sense to limit human exposure to substances that cause cancer in animals.

So is this going to get you to stop drinking coffee? Probably not. I'm not. The world is probably a better place when people can still get their coffee.

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