A “Common Sense” Victory For Coffee Science in California

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“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.

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Reading the Coffee Coverage: Longevity

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What’s right, what’s wrong, and what’s interesting.

The following article is based on this LinkedIn post by William (Bill) Murray, NCA President & CEO 


When it comes to coffee coverage in the media, a healthy dose of context (and common sense) is critical.

Take this week’s Daily Mail article, “How Six Cups of Coffee a Day Can Help You to Live Longer,” on new research from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Let’s take a look of the story, in light of the science:

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Coffee, Acrylamide, and Your Health

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.

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Which Type of Coffee Drinker Are You?

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New research identifies three main groups of caffeine sensitivity among individuals.

Genetic differences help explain why everyone experiences coffee’s effects differently.

via Coffee & Health

Coffee drinkers fall into one of three major groups based on their caffeine sensitivity, according to physician and author Dr J.W. Langer, in a new report authored for the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee (ISIC).

The report, “Genetics, Metabolism and Individual Responses to Caffeine,” draws on existing research to explain how the body metabolizes caffeine, why some people are more affected by caffeine than others, and how healthcare professionals can take this into account when advising patients.

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FDA Takes Action Against Highly Concentrated Caffeine in Dietary Supplements, Citing Public Health

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Dietary supplements containing pure caffeine are unlawful when sold in bulk quantities directly to consumers, due to the high risk that they will be erroneously consumed at excessive doses, according to the FDA.

The following is an excerpt from the latest NCA Member Alert

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued a new guidance  to clarify that selling dietary supplements containing pure or highly concentrated caffeine in bulk quantities directly to consumers is  “considered unlawful,” because of the high risk that they will be accidentally consumed at excessive, potentially dangerous doses.

Read the FDA press announcement

With respect to pure or highly concentrated powdered or liquid caffeine, the National Coffee Association (NCA) supports the FDA’s common-sense measure to protect consumers. But it is important to remember that these products have very little relation to coffee: a single teaspoon of powdered caffeine has as much caffeine as 20 to 28 cups (3,200 mg).

In fact, drinking coffee – and the natural caffeine it contains – is perfectly safe for most people. It may even be good for you.

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What the Latest Prop. 65 Ruling Means for Coffee Businesses

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Read the official NCA statement on the latest Prop. 65 & Coffee Decision

The following article was originally published on Daily Coffee News

By Nick Brown

In the 12 days since a California court ruled that coffee sellers in the state must post cancer warnings in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, commonly known as “Proposition 65”, mainstream media has been abuzz.

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.

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Can Olympic Athletes Have Caffeine?

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It’s more complicated than you may think.

Caffeine has been consistently shown to improve athletic performance, and its consumption has been subjected to ongoing scrutiny for elite athletes.

Today, Olympic athletes are permitted to enjoy a cup of coffee before competing. But between 1984-2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned high concentrations of caffeine from all Olympic events.

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Year in Review: Our Top 5 Coffee Posts of 2017

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2017 was a big year for coffee.

What – and where – we drink is changing. Specialty trends moved into the mainstream, from the cold brew craze to the rise of RTD. Today, consumers have unprecedented control to customize their beverage, from unique flavors to nutrition-driven additives (oat milk, anyone?).

To reflect how these changes are reshaping our industry, the NCA even added a new “gourmet” category to our National Coffee Drinking Trends report.

Yet at the same time, the fundamentals of coffee remain as relevant as ever.  Whether you’re a brewing beginner or a brilliant barista, understanding the basics of what makes a quality cup is still crucial to developing and refining new brew methods and flavors. For instance: Extraction will always be a factor, and your equipment needs to be clean.

We’re looking forward to what the next year will bring – we’re seeing a lot of exciting new research on coffee and health, opportunities to improve industry best practices, and critical developments in sustainability.

But the New Year is also an opportunity to reflect on where we’ve been. Here are the most popular NCA blog posts in 2017, highlighting the importance of both innovation and tradition in the world of coffee.

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Study: Drinking Coffee Daily Does More Good Than Harm

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A massive meta-analysis suggests that the benefits of daily coffee consumption outweigh the risk.

“The bottom line is that we suggest [coffee] can be a good part of a healthy diet.”

Robin Poole, University of Southampton

Science continues to suggest that coffee is good for you.

Based on a systematic umbrella review of 201 meta-analyses recently published in the BMJ, researchers from the University of Southampton found that moderate coffee consumption was more often associated with benefit than harm.

Drinking three to four cups of coffee a day showed the greatest benefit in terms of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, versus not drinking coffee. (Drinking coffee beyond these amounts was not associated with harm, but the benefits were less pronounced.)

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