Why Coffee Sold in California Could Soon Come With a Toxic Warning Label

iStock
iStock

If you live in California, you may be accustomed to seeing signs warning of cancer-causing chemicals everywhere from cleaning supplies to Disneyland. These labels have been enforced by Proposition 65 since 1986, but until now coffee products have largely been successful in avoiding them. As Bloomberg reports, an ongoing lawsuit could soon make it so that the disclaimers appear on every cup of coffee people in California purchase. Some stores are already rolling out the warnings for coffee in anticipation of the legal crackdown.

Proposition 65 states that all products sold in California containing one or more of the substances from a list of 1000 harmful chemicals must bear a label warning it may "cause cancer, or birth defects, or other reproductive harm." Businesses that ignore this law face fines reaching up to thousands of dollars for each item sold without the proper labeling.

For years, major coffee distributors like Starbucks have skirted the toxic designation even though some lawyers say they're breaking the law by doing so. Because coffee has acrylamide, the chemical that's made when plant-based foods are cooked at high temperatures, the drink technically falls within the group of products that should carry the warning. Studies have shown that the compound is a carcinogen in rodents, and McDonald's and Frito Lay are already required to alert customers in the state to the acrylamide content in their fries and potato chips.

But while acrylamide is present in coffee, companies have argued for years that the actual beverage doesn't qualify for the label because many studies have dispelled the link between coffee drinking and cancer.

"We don't want to have to put a label that would be false speech and that isn't scientifically accurate," Joe DeRupo, a spokesman for the National Coffee Association, told Bloomberg.

But coffee's exemption from the rule could soon change. Since 2010, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics has been suing Starbucks and dozens of other companies for leaving the label off their coffee. The second phase of the trial is currently in progress and the judge is expected to make a decision by the end of 2017. Starbucks and a handful of other stores have already begun posting the warning as signs in their stores, perhaps as a way to protect themselves from the potential legal consequences.

If you're a California resident who sees those signs at your local coffee shop, or on your actual coffee in the near future, there's no need to panic. Despite naturally occurring traces of acrylamide, many studies suggest that the heart-healthy benefits of coffee could outweigh any negative effects. And while experts agree that drinking coffee with acrylamide doesn't cause cancer in humans, one study found a link between drinking very hot beverages and cancer of the esophagus. So if you want to make your morning routine a little healthier, wait for your java to cool down below 149°F before taking a sip. 

[h/t Bloomberg]

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!