California’s Office of Administrative Law has ruled that coffee can be exempt from Prop 65 warnings.

California’s Office of Administrative Law this week ruled that coffee can be exempt from Proposition 65 cancer warnings, reversing a decision that was made by California Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle in May 2018.

Berle had argued that since roasted coffee contains trace amounts of acrylamide, it fell under the Prop 65 rule. The decision met with quite a bit of backlash, prompted by groups including California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), National Coffee Association, and even the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In August of 2018, the FDA stated that the Prop 65 coffee warning would mislead coffee consumers. “Such a warning could mislead consumers to believe that drinking coffee could be dangerous to their health when it actually could provide health benefits,” the FDA stated. “Misleading labeling on food violates the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. No state law can require food to bear a warning that violates federal law.”


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