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Could California’s Coffee Warning Backfire?


A CALIFORNIA JUDGE’S ruling that coffee must come with a label warning that it could cause cancer is raising questions about whether laws meant to help consumers stay informed about what’s in their food lack the nuance necessary to make them effective.

The decision last month by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle found coffee purveyors such as Starbucks and 7-Eleven were in violation of a popularly approved 1986 California law that requires businesses to disclose if their products contain any of a list of more than 850 substances that are confirmed or suspected carcinogens.

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