Acrylamide, Cause of Cancer in Coffee Will Get More Attention in California Cafe

Despite its long list of health benefits, coffee in California may soon come with a consumer warning about cancer.

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A lawsuit first filed by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics in 2010 seeks to require coffee sellers, including Starbucks, BP, Gloria Jean’s and 7-Eleven, to warn customers about the ingestion of acrylamide, a possibly cancer-causing chemical that’s produced when coffee beans are roasted.

coffee may cause cancer

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California has a rule named Proposition 65, that business must notify customers if their product contains any of 65 chemicals including acrylamide which is linked with cancer, birth defects or other reproductive issues. If business not give info about this carcinogen warnings, the lawsuit  will alleges, and coffee shops violate of this policy.

So far, 13 defendants, including 7-Eleven, have settled and agreed to post warnings.

Acrylamide, are present in coffee, baked goods, and other food or beverages sold. Acrylamide is not added to the products, but results from cooking, such as when coffee beans are roasted or baked goods are baked. As a result, acrylamide is present in our brewed coffee”

Coffee retailers have fought against the suit, arguing that the levels of acrylamide present in the beverage are not harmful, and that the health benefits of java outweigh its risks, CNN reports.

The CEO of National Coffee Association, Bill Murray said that “Coffee has been shown, over and over again, to be a healthy beverage. The US Government’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle. This lawsuit can confuses consumers, and has the potential to make a mockery of Prop 65 cancer warning at a time when the public needs clear and accurate information about health.”


Research has shown that coffee contains cancer-fighting antioxidants and may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It may even help people live longer and age better, according to recent research. However, in 2016, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, concluded that drinking very hot beverages may increase the risk of esophageal cancer. The IARC said that there isn’t enough evidence to classify coffee as a carcinogen, but the temperature at which it’s consumed matters.

Acrylamide,  forms when sugars and amino acids are cooked at temperatures above 150 degrees, is not only limited to coffee. Acrylamide is also found in fried foods, such as french fries and potato chips, baby food and baked goods.

In 2007, fast food restaurants in California began posting warnings about acrylamide.


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