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Coffee Roasting News

California Judge Rules Starbucks Must Warn of Cancer-Causing Chemical in Their Coffee

By April 2, 2018 No Comments

A ruling from a Los Angeles judge last week is trying to force large-scale coffee roasting companies like Starbucks and Folgers to warn their customers about a potentially cancer-causing chemical found in their coffee.

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics recently sued 91 coffee companies in a California class-action lawsuit for not warning their consumers about a particular chemical produced when coffee beans are roasted in traditional drum roasters. The chemical, acrylamide, can also be found in many common fried foods and cigarette smoke. It’s recently been shown to be linked to various types of cancer in rats and mice when exposed to high doses, although no such link has yet been confirmed in humans, according to the American Cancer Society.

In his proposed decision last week, Los Angeles Superior Court judge Elihu Berle noted that;

“Since defendants failed to prove that coffee confers any human health benefits, defendants have failed to satisfy their burden of proving that sound considerations of public health support an alternate risk level for acrylamide in coffee.”

If judge Berle’s decision goes into effect, then any coffee roasting businesses that fail to provide a prominent warning label on their bag of beans or brewed coffee will be subject to a fine for each violation of up to $2,500 a day.

In response, Starbucks has released a statement saying that there isn’t enough acrylamide in the coffee to harm consumers. But Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle ruled that the coffee companies didn’t show that acrylamide was present at safe levels; they also didn’t show that drinking coffee has benefits, according to the Associated Press.

The case isn’t over, and no one has yet determined how much money the coffee companies might have to pay in arrears.

Here at Reviver Coffee, we only roast our coffee using small-batch fluid bed roasters.

Our fluid bed coffee roasters force hot air through electric heating elements, rather than heating metal drums using gas combustion. Our roasting process virtually eliminates the carcinogenic chemicals that coffee absorbs in most drum roasters from burning chaff and natural gas fumes.

You can browse all of our fluid-bed roasted coffee varieties here.