Coffee and cancer health scare warning overturned

Here’s more good news for coffee lovers. Early last year, a court in California sent shockwaves through the caffeine community by ruling that coffee contains carcinogens – substances that contribute to causing cancer in living tissue. As a result, all cafes in California were required to display warning notices that espressos could cause cancer.

As you can imagine, the coffee community not only in the USA but all over the world rose up to try and disprove the ruling, which sparked a year-long debate. Now, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has come to its senses and agreed that the ruling is not appropriate. It did at first appear that there may have been some basis for concern, as when coffee is heated a chemical, acrylamide, is produced which is in fact a carcinogen. However, on further investigation over the year the OEHHA found that coffee contained the chemical at such low levels that it posed on threat at all, and that the original court ruling appeared to be an overreaction.

Acrylamide has appeared on a list of carcinogens since the 1990s, and under state law California has to issue public warnings about everything that includes a listed chemical. This includes foodstuffs which may contain one of the chemicals but has never been associated with cancer via a direct link. In fact, both chips and toast contain more of the acrylamide than coffee, and so far no-one has suggested labelling them!

Leading authority the International Agency for Cancer said that there were no direct links between coffee and cancer, and research had shown that coffee could actually help prevent certain types of cancer.

Phew, only in California! Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we’re delighted to supply top quality, great value coffee to some of the best cafes, restaurants and offices in Britain. To find out more, take a look at our main website at