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In California, Coffee Both Causes and Prevents Cancer

California’s Proposition 65 list contains a number of so-called carcinogens found in coffee, but multiple epidemiological studies conclude that moderate coffee consumption decreases the chances of developing numerous cancers. In California, coffee could both promote and reduce cancer. However, the law is based on hazard, not risk, which results in meritless scares and huge class action settlements. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) uses a hazard-based classification, which results in meritless scares and huge class action settlements.

The annual cost to businesses has soared from $11 million in 2000 to $26 million in 2022. The features inherent to Proposition 65 have led to the growth of a multimillion-dollar cottage industry of “citizen enforcers” or “bounty hunters” who enrich themselves by abusing the statute’s warning label requirements as a pretext to file 60-day notices and lawsuits in order to exact settlements from businesses.

Like IARC, Proposition 65 is based on hazard, not risk. This is why the list is essentially useless (and probably harmful) in determining whether a particular chemical at a real-world dose will actually be a cancer risk. No wonder the public is scared about the wrong things. No one is worried about coffee, despite trace quantities of carcinogens – chemicals that we are regularly exposed to in other foods. Numerous epidemiological studies have concluded that people who regularly drink coffee gain multiple benefits.

Many studies show an association between high coffee consumption with decreased rates of mortality and lower incidences of a number of chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cardiovascular diseases. Protective effects against certain types of cancer, including liver and breast cancer, a lower risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, and a lower risk of depression and improved cognitive function.

In conclusion, California’s Prop 65 is silly outmoded and largely irrelevant (except to those exploiting it for their own sleazy financial gains). Like IARC, the state is using absurd parameters to determine theoretical, not real, cancer potential. How else can you explain that coffee, which is known to reduce certain types of cancers, is chock full of chemicals that appear on the Prop 65 list of carcinogens? In California, coffee does increase and decrease cancer. Make sense? It doesn’t seem so.

(1) Coffee was once considered to be a carcinogen by the World Health Organization, the parent organization of IARC. Then, in 2016, they woke up and declassified the coffee.

In summary, California’s Proposition 65 list contains a number of carcinogenic chemicals found in coffee, but it is based on hazard rather than risk. The law has become a boondoggle for unscrupulous lawyers, environmental groups, and the “adhesive sticker industry,” leading to confusion and misinformation among the general public.

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