Coffee sold in California could carry cancer warning labels

In this photo taken Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, a barista pours steamed milk in a coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles. In a long-running court case playing out in a Los Angeles courtroom, a nonprofit has been presenting evidence to show that coffee companies should post ominous warning labels about a cancer-causing chemical in every cup. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Coffee could carry an ominous cancer warning in California if a nonprofit group prevails in a Los Angeles courtroom.

An attorney representing the Council for Education and Research on Toxics is presenting evidence to a judge in a 7-year-old case aimed at Starbucks and distributors and retailers.

The council says coffee companies violated a state law requiring they warn consumers about a chemical created in the roasting process that could cause cancer.

Acrylamide is on the state's list of dangerous chemicals that must be disclosed to consumers.

Attorneys for about 90 companies acknowledge acrylamide is present but say it's at harmless levels and is outweighed by benefits from drinking coffee.

They also claim coffee should be exempt because the chemical results naturally from cooking coffee beans that's necessary to make them tasty.

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