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California coffee may soon come with a cancer warning, but should consumers worry?


A cup of coffee could soon come with a cancer warning in California where mediation is starting Thursday as part of a highly-charged lawsuit. The Council for Education and Research on Toxics wants businesses to warn consumers about a possible cancer risk from coffee. The lawsuit, which has been grinding on for years, alleges no matter how you make it, your daily jolt of java comes with a potential carcinogen: acrylamide.

Bill Ristenpart, a chemical engineer, teaches the science of coffee at UC Davis. As an expert witness, he testified that acrylamide forms naturally as foods cooked at high temperatures turn brown, reports CBS News’ John Blackstone.

“It’s the major reason you get this yummy brown stuff on the outside of your steak when you char it,” Ristenpart said.

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