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Judge: Starbucks Coffee Must Carry Cancer Warning in California

William White

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) may have to start putting cancer warnings on its coffee in California.

Judge: Starbucks Coffee Must Carry Cancer Warning in California

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A lawsuit against the company claims that it hasn’t been properly labeling coffee for its cancer risks. The lawsuit comes from the Council for Education and Research on Toxics and was filed back in 2010.

The lawsuit is over the chemical acrylamide. This shows up in roasted coffee beans and can cause cancer. The judge’s ruling would force Starbucks to carry the cancer risk signs, as well as force it to pay out millions of dollars in fines.

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Starbucks hasn’t reposed to comments about the case, but it isn’t the only one affected by it. Other companies in the lawsuit that sell coffee include McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and Dunkin Brands Group Inc’s (NASDAQ:DNKN) Dunkin’ Donuts.

The National Coffee Association, of which Starbucks is a member, is likely planning to appeal the judge’s decision. It argues that labeling coffee as cancerous would misrepresent the drink, which the U.S.’s Dietary Guidelines say can be part of a “healthy lifestyle,” reports Reuters.

“While plaintiff offered evidence that consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, to infants, to children and to adults, defendants’ medical and epidemiology experts testified that they had no opinion on causation,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said in his ruling, which was obtained by NBC News. “Defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving … that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health.”

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As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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