“Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health,” the judge said in his decision, concluding that the defendants had failed to prove that roasted coffee does not pose a cancer risk. The defendants have until April 10th to file objections to the ruling.
“Cancer warning labels on coffee would be misleading. The U.S. government’s own Dietary Guidelines state that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle,” the National Coffee Association said in a statement. The organization plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.
The NCA’s statement has been validated by numerous studies linking coffee to health benefits. But whether those benefits outrank the dangers of acrylamide exposure is unclear. Acrylamide is also found in starchy foods when exposed to high temperatures, like potato chips and french fries. It’s also present in cigarettes. The American Cancer Society points to several studies on acrylamide exposure but concluded that neither human nor lab studies provided enough clear evidence to deem it a carcinogen. “Based on the studies done so far, it’s not yet clear if acrylamide affects cancer risk in people,” the site notes.