Cancer, Schmancer. In California, Coffee Is King

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
09/04/18  3:28 PM PST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — It turns out that California and the Trump administration do agree on at least one thing: Don’t mess with coffee.

Trump’s hand-picked food and drug czar, Scott Gottlieb, said Wednesday that he “strongly supports” a proposal by officials in Sacramento to exempt the morning elixir from the state’s list of known cancer-causing compounds despite a court order to the contrary.

Java fans received the news nonchalantly, making it clear they would not be put off their cup of Joe no matter what Gottlieb or state officials had to say about it.

Sid Silverthorn, sipping his favorite hot beverage outside a Sacramento Starbucks, said he’d been treated for prostate cancer a couple of decades back and since his recovery has been vigilant about products that could harm his health.

Coffee, he said, is not one of them.

“I think coffee is fantastic,” the 88-year-old said with relish. “I think it’s good for me, good for my heart, makes me happy.”

Despite the passion of hard-core consumers like Silverthorn, vendors worry that cancer warnings posted on their doors wouldn’t exactly be seen as welcome signs.

“I think it would evoke a visceral reaction,” said Lauren Taber, spokeswoman for Pachamama Coffee Cooperative in Sacramento. “People go into their local coffee shop and think ‘Wait, I can get cancer from this?’”

In this state, coffee drinks can be an art form — with devotees routinely laying out $5 or more for triple non-fat spiced lattes, extra hot or upside down. But that has clashed in this case with another state obsession: triple-checking the purity of food and drink.

The whole brewhaha started with an eight-year-old lawsuit that culminated earlier this year with a Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s ruling that coffee must be labeled a carcinogen under California’s Proposition 65, a law that requires public disclosure of chemicals determined by the state to pose a risk of cancer.

Read the Full Article in Kaiser Health News.

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