A black-and-white warning sign sits next to straws on a counter.

Enlarge / SAN FRANCISCO, CA – MAY 18, 2013: A sign in a Starbucks coffee shop warns customers that coffee and baked goods sold at the shop and elsewhere contain acrylamide, a chemical known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. (credit: Getty Images | Robert Alexander)

Coffee is now officially free of cancer warnings in California. But the secretive organization that first brewed the legal dispute over the beloved beverage vows to keep fighting.

On Monday, June 3, state officials finally approved a new regulation declaring that coffee poses no significant risk of cancer, thus exempting it from having to carry cancer warnings. The regulatory move follows lengthy lawsuits from a little-known nonprofit called the Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT).

Back in 2010, CERT sued around 90 coffee roasters and brewers, including Starbucks, Folgers, and other big names, claiming that coffee poses cancer risks. That’s despite the fact that no conclusive scientific evidence supports the claim and some data contradict it. Nevertheless, in its legal filings, CERT argued that every cup of joe should be served with cancer warnings, as required by California’s controversial health law, Proposition 65.

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