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Why would coffee need a cancer-warning label in California?

(KOMO file photo)

Coffee and cancer were in the news again recently, as a judge in California ruled that cancer-warning labels should be required on coffee.

A law in that state requires businesses to warn customers when they could be exposed to any of more than about 900 confirmed or suspected carcinogens.

Acrylamide, created when potatoes are fried, bread is toasted, and coffee beans are roasted, is on that list as a suspected carcinogen.

Edward Kelly, an associate professor of Pharmaceutics at the UW School of Pharmacy says there's really nothing for coffee drinkers to worry about.

"Yes, there can be acrylamide formed, but the actual amount there is very minuscule and this is in stark contrast to many studies, sound studies, showing various health benefits of coffee,” Kelly said.

While high doses of acrylamide can cause cancer in rodents, there's little evidence of that with humans.

In fact, the World Health Organization says there is "no conclusive evidence" that drinking coffee causes cancer. And indeed, there is a growing body of research that coffee can prevent several kinds of cancer.

More Info: Cancer-warning labels on coffee? California ruling ‘crazy,’ scientists say

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