Last year, the World Health Organization upset meat lovers everywhere after announcing it had sufficient evidence that processed meats cause cancer and placing the sandwich staples among “group 1” carcinogens alongside cigarettes and plutonium. So much for your daily bologna and plutonium hoagie.
But this year, WHO has good news for coffee drinkers. Maybe in an effort to win back friends – though more likely due to the group’s stringent review of over 1,000 scientific studies – WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer announced new findings suggest that, when it comes to coffee, there is “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect.”
Due to this determination, coffee is getting bumped out of “group 2B” – listing items that might be “possible carcinogens” – and will now reenter the glorious realm of undetermined. IARC also didn’t see enough evidence to conclude that coffee is definitely not carcinogenic, though they were even willing to acknowledge that some studies have suggested coffee may even help deter some cancers. “(This) does not show that coffee is certainly safe ... but there is less reason for concern today than there was before,” IARC’s Dana Loomis was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The warning downgrade comes with one important caveat, however. IARC also claims scientific evidence shows that any drink – regardless of if its coffee, tea, water or whatever – is probably more likely to cause cancer of the esophagus if it is served too hot: around 150 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter. Sounds to me like the cold brew markets is about to see another big bump.