As if there weren’t already enough reasons to bail out of the LNSD (Liberal Nanny State Dystopia): CANCER! In your coffee!
Starbucks Corp and other coffee sellers must put a cancer warning on coffee sold in California, a Los Angeles judge has ruled, possibly exposing the companies to millions of dollars in fines.
A little-known not-for-profit group sued some 90 coffee retailers, including Starbucks, on grounds they were violating a California law requiring companies to warn consumers of chemicals in their products that could cause cancer.
The little-known not-for-profit group is CERT, the Council for Education and Research on Toxics. They claim that a chemical byproduct of brewing coffee, acrylamide, is carcinogenic; California’s Proposition 65 requires businesses to inform consumers if a product contains carcinogens. So cups of brewed coffee must therefore include a warning label.
According to a California government website:
Proposition 65, officially known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The proposition protects the state’s drinking water sources from being contaminated with chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and requires businesses to inform Californians about exposures to such chemicals.
Proposition 65 requires the state to maintain and update a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity.
The aforementioned list of chemicals known to the nanny state to cause cancer can be found here. It’s a long list that includes everything from aloe vera to wood dust.
Is there any doubt that CERT’s only motive behind the lawsuit is greed? If there were a link between brewed coffee and cancer, don’t you think it would have been found by now? Given the number of studies done on coffee? And cancer? It’s simply beyond the pale to assume that CERT actually believes its lawsuit will benefit consumers in any way. In fact, it’ll only raise the price of brewed coffee as coffee sellers recoup the cost of litigation and fines. It amounts to little more than a kind of tax on coffee, but rather than a tax by the government, it’s a tax by this greedy and unscrupulous CERT organization, which is apparently a front for the Metzger Law Firm.
But is it fair to blame the Metzger Law Firm for exploiting Prop 65 for their own greedy purposes? Hardly. Blaming lawyers for being greedy and exploitive is like blaming ticks for Lyme disease. Lawyers and ticks both being common parasites. The blame lies either with the judge who allowed this case to proceed (Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle); or, if this ridiculous ruling actually does fall under Prop 65, then blame lies with the voters of California for enabling this bullshit.
According to Berle, the lawsuit is legitimate because, if I understand correctly, the onus falls on makers of any product that includes one or more of the substances on The List to show that their product does not cause cancer: “Berle said in a decision dated Wednesday that Starbucks and other companies had failed to show there was no significant risk from a carcinogen produced in the coffee roasting process, court documents showed.” There is no requirement, apparently, for the Metzger Law Firm to show that coffee does cause cancer.
My suggestion: rather than putting warning labels on individual products in California, they should just post one warning label everywhere:
Living causes cancer.
Wait, the list says an ingredient in coffee causes cancer, so the burden of proof should be on the people who decide what causes cancer. How often is the list updated?
What a bunch of hooey.
Life is a terminal disease. Do the best you can, exercise and eat sensibly, and don’t worry. Be healthy until you die, which will happen.