California Coffee Industry Sued for Not Labelling Products

Coffee Industry

You are likely to get jitters by having a look at the future coffee cup in California. In a Los Angeles courtroom, officials and lawyers from a nonprofit group are presenting evidence about cancer-causing chemicals that are found in coffee. For this reason, this organization wants retailers, distributors and coffee manufacturers to post data about these carcinogens as ominous warnings on the coffee cup. The lawsuit has been going on for a long period and resumed on Monday. 90 companies led by Starbucks have been accused of neglecting state law that requires warning signs about hazardous products that are used in the house or at work. This lawsuit also includes retail shops and grocery stores. The lawsuit is centered on a carcinogen known as acrylamide which is common in French fries. Other than French flies, the carcinogen has been reported as a by-product of coffee and other cooked foods. Despite being acknowledged by coffee companies, they argue that the effects of this product are small compared to the many advantages associated with drinking coffee. This case has dragged on since 2010 and has received little media and public attention. The plaintiff, in this case, is Council for Education and Research on Toxics.

A win for this little-known organization would awake the consumer industry. Companies that fail to honor the ruling could be subjected to astronomical penalties. What remains unclear is the effect of the ruling on coffee drinking habits. According to lawyers representing the nonprofit organization, they say that their motivation is to force coffee producers such as Big Coffee to remove the chemical from coffee. One of the lawyers known as Raphael Metzger says that he is addicted to coffee and so is two-thirds of the American population. He, therefore, wants the coffee industry to get rid of the chemical so that he does not ingest the chemical. Advocacy groups have been given the power to sue corporations for the state. They are also allowed to share in the civil penalties. This was made possible in 1986 by voters from the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act. In the year 2008, potato chip makers were forced to pay a fine of $3 million for failing to warn consumers about a carcinogen known as acrylamide. However, this law has received criticism as there are greedy lawyers who sue businesses for settlements. At the same time, it has been credited with reducing cancer-causing agents in foods.