A California judge recently ruled that some stores must label coffee as potential cancer-causing because it contains a compound known as acrylamide (https://www.yahoo.com/news/apnewsbreak-california-judge-coffee-needs-212748202.html). The unfortunate reality in this situation is that the defendants of the case, the coffee industry, did not have an opportunity to really express the potential health benefits of coffee. Research has shown that coffee is a strong antioxidant, reducing the risk of some neurological decline and Parkinson's, as well as promoting GI motility, which may reduce the risk of gut cancer. Large epidemiology studies show that coffee may even reduce the risk of death by roughly 6-15%, with consumption up to 6 cups per day. As such, does coffee really cause cancer from acrylamide?
Very unlikely. If there is any industry the California government and lawyers should be attacking it would be the potato chip and French fry manufacturers. Potato chips and french fries have the largest concentration of acrylamide (https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020889y#/doi/abs/10.1021/jf020889y). Analyzing a report from the FDA, it shows coffee to report ~90 parts per billion (PPB) on average in most coffees. Meanwhile potato chips and french fries stack in at ~300 to 400 PPB. Of course, the acrylamide level referenced in the court case may have been higher than 90 PPB, but shouldn't there be a sign warning for potential cancer on the package of your potato chips or menu for twisty fries? The big issue here is we're just discussing one compound, acrylamide. The cancer caused by alcohol and meat seemingly get a pass.There are countless carcinogens out in the world…should California have a sign posted on its borders as you enter: this state is known to cause cancer?