A California judge has just ruled that Starbucks and other coffee vendors must add a cancer warning to all coffee sold in California.
The ruling will have the potential to expose multiple companies to millions of dollars worth of fines.
The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) and is aimed at 90 coffee retailers, which include Starbucks, Diddy Donuts and McDonalds. The suit came in place due to chemicals such as acrylamide, which is thought to be cancer causing.
CERT are proposing that for every exposure to the chemical since 2002 in California shops there should be a penalty of up to $2,500. This could result in hundreds of millions in fines for the companies involved.
Los Angeles judge Elihu Berle said that the companies in question have failed to prove their products do not pose risks and thus ruled in the favour of CERT. The companies have until April 10th to appeal the decision.
A statement from the National Coffee Association (NCA) that said they are likely to be appealing the decision stating. “Cancer warning labels on coffee would be misleading. The U.S. government’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle,”
Judge Berle has said: “Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.”
According to reports published many of the companies have settled prior to Wednesday’s decision, agreeing to add signs to their products about cancer-linked chemicals.
Image Copyright: monticello / 123RF Stock Photo