There is no evidence that coffee causes cancer. There’s some scientific research that suggests coffee can actually reduce the risk of certain cancers. But in California, a group called the Council for Education and Research on Toxics filed a lawsuit in 2010 demanding that coffee carry a Petition 65 warning label – a branding given to substances that contain a known carcinogen.
The carcinogen is acrylamide, which is created when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. In March, a Los Angeles judge agreed that coffee deserves the Petition 65 label. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) begs to differ.
“Although acrylamide in high doses has been linked to cancer in animals, and coffee contains acrylamide, current science indicates that consuming coffee poses no significant risk of cancer,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlied wrote in a statement on the agency’s website. The commissioner went on to say that the FDA opposes cancer warnings on coffee, because it would be more likely “to mislead consumers than to inform them.”
The consensus? Brew away. Coffee is not going to increase your cancer risk. Current U.S. Dept. of Health guidelines say that you can safely drink three to five cups a day.