Should coffee come with cancer warnings?
The New York Times: In every cup of coffee, there is a chemical linked to cancer.
That undisputed fact led a Los Angeles judge to rule this spring that coffee companies must provide cancer warnings to coffee drinkers. The ruling cast a shadow on a daily and often essential rite for more than 100 million Americans.
But now, the State of California has intervened, telling coffee drinkers not to worry. An agency has proposed a rule declaring that not only does coffee pose no significant risk of cancer, it may actually have health benefits.
In March, Judge Berle ruled that coffee had to come with cancer warnings, and the coffee companies geared up for years of appeals.
But in June, the World Health Organization concluded that there was “inadequate evidence” that drinking coffee caused cancer, reinforcing earlier findings by a panel of experts.
The reversal from suspected carcinogen to benign cup of joe is partly the result of more comprehensive scientific research. But it also reflects a rising concern that a blizzard of cancer warnings has desensitized consumers to serious health hazards.