Op-ed: Coffee doesn’t need cancer warning label

Although a California lawsuit is calling for coffee to be labeled with a cancer warning, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health expert says that hundreds of studies have shown no hint of increased cancer risk from coffee. In fact, he says, many studies have suggested that coffee can help lower the risk of some cancers.

The California lawsuit focuses on the chemical acrylamide, which is found in roasted coffee beans and has been linked to cancer in rats.

“While well intended, this lawsuit is profoundly misguided,” wrote Edward Giovannucci, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard Chan School, in a February 5, 2018 American Institute for Cancer Research blog. He said that small amounts of acrylamide are common in many food items besides coffee, and that the levels of the chemical that cause cancer in rats are much higher than those consumed through coffee and diet in general.

“Those who like drinking coffee should have no concerns at all, except perhaps if they add too much sugar and cream or are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine,” Giovannucci wrote.

Read the American Institute for Cancer Research blog: Coffee Doesn’t Need Cancer Warning

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