The coffee industry depends on the work of millions of workers who arrive to coffee farms all over the world during the harvest to pick coffee. Labor represents the largest portion of cost of production for coffee farming all over the world.
Although they represent millions and are key to the production of coffee, as an industry, we do not understand their situation, challenges, and opportunities enough.
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.
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?
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.
But despite of – or perhaps due to – this sudden popularity, there are still a lot of questions and misconceptions around cold brew. This is especially true for coffee companies that are considering making, serving, or selling cold brew.
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 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.
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).
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.