Earlier this year, a California-based organization called the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) got some clueless judge to rule that coffee should be labeled as a carcinogen. Why? Turns out that coffee contains trace amounts of acrylamide, chemical that created slightly increased cancer risk when given to rodents in extremely high concentrations.
Last week, California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, filed a proposed regulation declaring that "roasting coffee beans and brewing coffee pose no significant risk of cancer." This regulation, if it holds, would mean that there could be no justification for labeling coffee as a carcinogen.
Nor surprisingly, CERT wasn't happy. Not because they're concerned for coffee-drinkers, according to the American Council on Science and Health, which pointed out that CERT would have gotten "a giant bag full of money" from the financial settlement had the judge's ruling stood.
Apparently the battle isn't over yet and, of course, I'll keep you posted on its progress, but what I find incredible is that CERT is focusing on acrylamide, while ignoring an ingredient in brewed coffee that is far, far, far more dangerous: dihydrogen oxide.
Not everyone knows this, but overdoses of dihydrogen oxide are 100% fatal. Dihydrogen oxide is so deadly that it can wreak havoc through an entire population. In China in 1931, for example, as many as 4 million people died of dihydrogen oxide poisoning with the space of a single week.
More contemporaneously, two otherwise healthy high school athletes in Mississippi died from a dihydrogen oxide overdose, which created an extremely dangerous condition called "hyponatremia."
Dihydrogen oxide is also used in the manufacture of many dangerous and highly toxic chemicals and pollutants, including Styrofoam and plastic bags. To make matters worse, forensic scientists frequently discover dihydrogen oxide in the corpses of people who've died on the street, often along with trace amounts of alcohol and drugs.
And while it's true that acrylamide in extremely high dosages will cause cancer in rodents, even a moderate but constant application of dihydrogen oxide to a rodent will typically kill the little bugger within a few minutes. Dihydrogen oxide is also sometimes used in torture scenarios.
So make no mistake about it, dihydrogen oxide is serious business. This is especially important for coffee-drinkers to know because it's a undeniably scientific fact--proven repeatedly in peer-reviewed research--that a typical cup of coffee consists of as much as 99% dihydrogen oxide! While expresso contains slightly less, that's still a lot of chemical!
So maybe CERT should retool its anti-coffee crusade to ignore the obscure and probably harmless chemical acrylamide and instead target the huge, scientifically-proven hazard that is dihydrogen oxide. In fact, while they're at it, they should press a legal case to label everything that contains dihydrogen oxide.