Coffee gives you cancer? Alarmist headlines and Hong Kong’s Consumer Council

Coffee gives you cancer? Alarmist headlines and Hong Kong’s Consumer Council

Nothing makes a good headline like a new cancer scare. So the Consumer Council should have known what the resultant headlines would look like when they sounded the alarm over… coffee.

Coffee? Is nothing sacred? William Blake complained that “priests in black gowns were walking their rounds, and binding with briars my joys and desires.” Now that we no longer take much notice of priests, it seems the scientists have taken over the important task of telling us that anything we enjoy is bad for us.

A cup of coffee. Photo: Laura D’Alessandro, via Flickr.

The Consumer Council’s case against coffee is that 45 of the 47 samples it tested contained acrylamide, which it described as a “genotoxic carcinogen.” Consumers should “pay attention to how much coffee they consume,” said the chair of the council’s research and testing committee.


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