Every 5 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues a new edition of the Dietary
Guidelines. These are dietary
recommendations for Americans to practice healthy eating habits.
Shaped by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), these guidelines have an enormous impact on US perceptions and behaviors regarding nutrition and health, which is why it’s critical to communicate the science on coffee and health.
Setting the stage for the next evolution in dietary guidance to Americans for 2020-2025
Editor’s note: The connection between lifestyle and health is increasingly being recognized by the medical and scientific communities. We know that diet, exercise habits, and smoking and alcohol consumption impact our health. And as the science continues to advance, it seems there are new discoveries weekly.
To help Americans make healthy food and beverage choices, the U.S. Government issues Dietary Guidelines, which in the past have been communicated by USDA guides such as the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate.
When the USDA last undertook this exercise, the NCA formally recommended that the healthy aspects of coffee be recognized – and they were. The 2015-2020 Guidelines acknowledge that coffee can be part of a healthy diet.
And the process to update these guidelines is now well underway.
By Dr. Mark Corey, Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, National Coffee Association
Over the past two days, I attended the meeting of the 2020-2025
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in Washington, DC, focused on
creating the protocol and guidelines shaping US nutrition and guidance to
Americans for the next 5 years.
Panels of experts are examining every aspect of the American diet, inside and out, and have outlined their process for evaluating the science-based evidence. Subcommittees are focused on a range of topics such as dietary patterns and looking across different age groups from birth to older adults.
Today, California’s Second Appellate District Court stayed the trial that was set to begin on Monday, October 15, 2018, in Los Angeles Superior Court, regarding whether cancer warnings are required for sales of coffee in California.
“Call it a victory for science — or maybe just for common sense.” – The Seattle Times
It was a good news week for coffee science in California.
Earlier this month, OEHHA (the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment agency) proposed a plan that would exempt coffee from Prop 65 required “cancer warning labels” in California after the most recent ruling in the ongoing legislation.
The statement was met with resounding support from scientists and coffee lovers alike.
“OEHHA’s Rulemaking is supported by both the full weight of scientific evidence and law,” wrote William “Bill” Murray, NCA President and CEO, in comments filed Aug. 30. The letter commended the decision and laid out the strong case for coffee in a scientific summary signed by Dr. Mark Corey, NCA’s Director of Scientific & Government Affairs, and Dr. Alan Leviton, Consultant to the NCA Scientific Advisory Group.
Simply put, the research speaks for itself: coffee does not cause cancer.
Then this week, in a groundbreaking announcement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to Sacramento which emphatically set forth their support for this rule.
A guide to California’s Prop. 65 and ongoing labeling legislation for the informed coffee drinker.
Overwhelming research shows that regular coffee consumption may be linked to a host of potential health benefits, from liver health to longevity.
Scientists believe that the secret lies in coffee’s complex chemistry: There are at least 300 natural compounds in one green bean, and about 1,000 more created in the roasting process – including caffeine (of course), antioxidants, and minerals.
Together, the various things that make up coffee create a delicious brew that can be part of a healthy lifestyle.
However, a long-running lawsuit under California’s controversial Prop 65 regulation has sought to force coffee companies to include “cancer warning labels” on coffee package labels and in coffee shops.
When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month finalized a ruling that coffee sold in California must carry cancer warning labels, many California residents may not have paid much attention to yet another labeling requirement.
Ever since voters passed Proposition 65 more than 30 years ago, after all, Californians have watched the steady proliferation of vague statements about chemicals, cancer, and birth defects. They appear almost everywhere, from the windows of hardware stores to signs at Disneyland. They’re so abundant that Amazon even sells them as stickers in rolls of 500.
Many people have begun to ignore these labels because they’re so common and because the information they convey is almost useless.
So why am I concerned if they now also show up on coffee?
While the vast majority of reports have noted the lack of scientific evidence linking coffee to cancer, that kind of widespread publicity naturally creates more questions than answers. Such is the nature of the 24-hour news cycle, in which many people can’t afford the time to read beyond the headlines.
So as the two big Cs of coffee and cancer have shared the public stage, a third big C has swept over the audience: confusion.