Coffee brewers and retailers can’t escape a California law that requires them to tell consumers that coffee contains a chemical known to cause cancer.
A California state judge in Los Angeles issued a tentative ruling in a lawsuit brought against dozens of companies, including Starbucks Corp., Target Corp., 7-Eleven Inc. and Whole Foods Market for their alleged failure to comply with the state’s required warnings.
The companies failed to persuade the judge that “sound considerations of public health” support an exemption from California’s Proposition 65 warning for the chemical acrylamide in coffee.
“Defendants’ proffered evidence that coffee itself confers some benefit to human health was not persuasive,” Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle said in his ruling Wednesday.
The coffee producers and retailers have until April 10 to file objections to the judge’s proposed ruling. Some of the coffee retailers have already settled the lawsuit and agreed to post warnings in their stores.