Decaf Dilemma - Advocates Demand Ban on Cancer-Linked Chemical

Decaf Dilemma - Advocates Demand Ban on Cancer-Linked Chemical

Health advocates are pushing the FDA to ban methylene chloride, used in decaffeinating coffee, due to its proven carcinogenic effects in rodents. This chemical, also a former paint stripper, is still used by major coffee companies, despite alternatives available. The petition relies on the Delaney Clause, a 1958 law requiring the ban of food additives shown to induce cancer in humans or animals. The industry argues that the chemical is virtually undetectable in brewed coffee and banning it would deprive consumers of decaf's health benefits. The FDA previously estimated the cancer risk from decaf coffee as very low, and the industry cites the superior quality of methylene chloride-processed decaf. The campaign reflects a broader effort to eliminate potentially cancerous additives from food.

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