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Copyright 2014 by Attorney Carlos Gamino
​In a reversal of its previous warning that rated coffee as “possibly carcinogenic,” the WHO released a statement that says its latest research “found no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect” from drinking coffee; the agency also pointed out recent studies that show coffee might actually reduce the risk of developing some types of cancer.

However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer—the part of the WHO that studies carcinogens—also presented evidence that drinking anything above 149 degrees F probably causes cancer of the esophagus.

Under the IARC’s list, consider this: coffee was originally in a “possible carcinogen” category that also includes lead, chloroform and aloe vera leaf extract. The same list says that alcoholic beverages, benzidine (a dye used in fabrics, papers and practically everything else prior to the mid 1970s) and estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives are certainly carcinogenic to humans.

Back to coffee: According to the agency, the risk of cancer may increase with the temperature of the drink. 

IARC director Christopher Wild said, “These results suggest that drinking very hot beverages is one probable cause of esophageal cancer and that it is the temperature, rather than the drinks themselves, that appears to be responsible.”

So how hot is McDonald’s coffee? Back when Stella Liebeck sued the fast-food giant, the employee manuals required coffee to be served at scalding temperatures of 180 to 190 degrees F

The company’s response—albeit more than 20 years later, in 2013—was to lower the coffee’s temperature by 10 degrees F and put stern warnings on their cups.

The moral of the story? If you’re a coffee-drinking lawyer, drop an ice cube (or two) in your McDonald’s cup and wait for the temperature to drop about 40 degrees… just to be on the safe side. 

Carlos Gamino


WHO Says Coffee Causes Cancer - But Only if it's Very Hot - Carlos Gamino
​By Carlos Gamino

I’m not going to lie—lawyers need coffee.

Unless, of course, they’re listening to the World Health Organization… or maybe when they’re not.

News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

The WHO Says Coffee Causes Cancer—But Only if it’s Very Hot

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