This notice is intended to comply with the requirements of California Proposition 65.
WARNING: Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm, including acrylamide, are present in coffee and some roasted nuts, baked goods and snack foods such as chips. Acrylamide is not added to these products, but results naturally from the roasting, baking or cooking process. The FDA has not advised people to stop consuming foods that are fried, roasted, or baked. For more information regarding the FDA’s views, visit www.fda.gov
All roasted coffee contains acrylamide, a substance listed as a carcinogen under California law. All roasted coffee contains this substance, which is produced by the roasting process. California Proposition 65 requires that we notify you of the presence of listed substances in our products. A lawsuit been filed under Prop. 65 against other, larger coffee roasters (see: http://www.forbes.com/sites/wlf/2012/10/10/prop-65-has-its-perks-for-plaintiffs-lawyers-in-coffee-litigation/). To avoid similar unpleasantness, we are posting this notice to ensure compliance with the law. We are confident that this lawsuit will demonstrate that a Proposition 65 warning is not necessary for roasted coffee, but we are posting one until it is finally resolved.
California’s Proposition 65 requires any product that contains one of the 800+ chemicals deemed by the state of California to cause cancer to put a label on the product. A wide variety of foods form acrylamide, a carcinogen, when they’re heated above 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Here’s a statement from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment about acrylamide:
In 2002, Swedish researchers discovered that acrylamide forms during the baking, frying, or roasting of certain kinds of foods, particularly starchy foods. Acrylamide is not added to foods. It is a contaminant that forms during the baking, frying or roasting of certain plant-based foods. Boiling and steaming foods does not create acrylamide. French fries, potato chips, other fried and baked snack foods, roasted asparagus, canned sweet potatoes and pumpkin, canned black olives, roasted nuts, coffee, roasted grain-based coffee substitutes, prune juice, breakfast cereals, crackers, cookies, bread crusts, and toast all contain varying levels of acrylamide."
Every coffee company, grocery store, bakery, and most restaurants have to post Prop 65 warnings on their products or in their stores. However, acrylamide has been (possibly) linked to cancer starting at doses about 100,000 times higher than you’ll find in Coast Roast products, and most other food products. And given that studies repeatedly find coffee consumption correlates with longer life and lower risk of cancer (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26656410), it seems the benefits probably outweigh the tiny amount of acrylamide. The acrylamide content is vanishingly small…but California law still requires us to put the warning label on our products.