Compelled speech, like censored speech, can violate the Constitution, according to legal experts.
By William “Bill” Murray, CAE, NCA President & CEO via LinkedIn
“Forcing [coffee companies] to include a cancer warning on a product that does not cause cancer plainly violates the 1st Amendment.”
So states legendary First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams (Pentagon Papers, Citizen United), in today’s Los Angeles Times Op-Ed.
“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.
Last week, a Los Angeles judge ruled that coffee roasters and retailers must serve up a cancer warning with coffee sold in California under Prop. 65 regulations, based on the naturally-occurring presence of acrylamide from the roasting process.
The decision goes against what the science shows us – including the conclusions of the World Health Organization. Study after study, conducted independently and published in peer-reviewed journals, has shown the potential health benefits of drinking coffee — from liver health to living longer.
There is no evidence that coffee causes cancer.
Recently, there’s been a flurry of media activity around a long-pending legal case in California, which could potentially result in mandatory “cancer warning” labels on all coffee cups and packaging. The headlines have been confusing, and sometimes even alarming.
via The Daily Intake
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced a new web page and graphic timeline that consolidates the compliance dates for the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) regulations.
The following post is from the latest NCA Member Alert.
On Thursday, Republican leaders announced that the controversial border adjustment provision, which threatened to saddle coffee imports with duties that could have added as much as 20% to declared values, has been dropped from the proposed tax plan.
“While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform,” House, Senate and White House leaders working on a tax plan said in a joint statement Thursday, CNBC News reports.
“As a regressive tax borne largely by consumers, the proposal can hurt […] hundreds of independent roasters, coffee shops, restaurants, retailers, and suppliers. Aimed at promoting a healthy diet, the tax would have the opposite effect if applied to coffee.” – William M. Murray, CEO, NCA
The Seattle City Council will vote on introducing a “soda tax” in the city on Monday. The measure would put a one-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages, and would impact coffee as collateral damage. Furthermore, small businesses would be disproportionately affected.
The National Coffee Association has submitted the following letter to the City Council to express the industry’s strong position on how the tax would severely impact the local coffee economy and that coffee should be exempt should any soda tax be ratified.
Read the full NCA comment letter.
In the News
Is Seattle’s proposed soda tax also a tax on sugary lattes?
Tell the Seattle city council that levying a soda tax on coffee would have unintended and unanticipated consequences for the coffee industry and local businesses. Send an email to email@example.com, or call 206-684-8888.
Comments? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is an excerpt from the NCA Member Alert
A Border Adjustment Tax (BAT) could mean a 15% or 20% import tax on coffee. That’s why the National Coffee Association went to Washington last week to lobby against it.
By William (Bill) Murray, CEO, NCA
The 2016 U.S. presidential election provoked deep passions across the U.S. that continue to be felt today, as the policy implications continue to unfold.
Last December, we took a first look at how coffee-related policies might be impacted by the election, while conceding that there was much yet to be discovered about the new administration.
Among the various initiatives under discussion by the new administration, a “border adjustment tax” potentially has huge implications not only for the coffee sector, but for every coffee drinker in the U.S. – more than 180 million Americans.
Most ironically, in the case of coffee a “border adjustment tax” could raise the price of everyone’s daily coffee, while not having the intended effect of “bringing jobs to America.”
By Joseph DeRupo, Director of External Relations, NCA
The following is an excerpt from a recent NCA Member Alert. (Want to receive the latest industry updates directly? Learn more about NCA membership.)
After a deeply divisive campaign, a new administration is poised to assume power in Washington, having been elected on a platform which has expressed skepticism toward big government and regulatory intervention.
The transfer of power has only just begun, cabinet and agency appointments are a still in progress, and budget negotiations are far off – including the implications of funding cutbacks or additions.
In the meantime, we’re preparing for the changes that may be ahead. Earlier this year, the NCA released the first-ever Economic Impact Study to measure the U.S. coffee economy, and the NCA’s 2017 plan already includes outreach in Washington to raise awareness of the industry’s importance. That outreach will now take on even greater significance as the coming months unfold.
The NCA will not speculate as to what these changes in Washington may mean for coffee. But it’s never too soon to begin planning, and here are some key issues on the industry’s docket: