I was web surfing something last night and ended up on California's Proposition 65 website ("your right to know!"). I read it with some interest for a while, recalling the coffee and Prop 65 discussion here as well as all the Prop 65 warnings I seem to see everywhere, being a Californian. It is chock full of all kinds of information and speculation. Speculation, as in educated guesses when there is anything to base one on, and wild guesses when there is not.
The nature of prop 65 mandates speculation. In the case of acrylamide, the information they have have is that certain foods contain measurable levels of acrylamide and that there is some correlation between acrylamide and certain cancers, in animal studies. Of course, never mind that there is really no idea what level of acrylamide consumption if any increases cancer risk in humans, the law mandates they set a "safe" level. So they picked 1 microgram per day. Then they list all the foodstuffs they could think of and estimate how much your daily intake of acrylamide is from eating that stuff every day.
Coffee drinkers get 1-3 micrograms per day from that source. French fry eaters get up to 26 micrograms per day from that source. So since they arbitrarily set 1 micrograms per day as the "safe" level, they are obligated to "warn" us. But no one can really say what the risk is, if any, from any particular level of acrylamide consumption.
The American Cancer Society's website currently states "Most of the studies done so far have not found an increased risk of cancer in humans. For some types of cancer, such as kidney, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, the results have been mixed, but there are currently no cancer types for which there is clearly an increased risk related to acrylamide intake.
"The studies that have been done so far have had some important limits. For example, many of the studies relied on food questionnaires that people filled out every couple of years. These questionnaires might not have accounted for all dietary sources of acrylamide. In addition, people might not accurately remember what they have eaten when asked in personal interviews or through questionnaires. While the evidence from human studies so far is somewhat reassuring, more studies are needed to determine if acrylamide raises cancer risk in people. The American Cancer Society supports the call by federal and international agencies for continued evaluation of how acrylamide is formed, its health risks, and how its presence in food can be reduced or removed."
So I infer from the 2nd ACS paragraph I quoted that what human studies there are are based on dietary surveys. It's so hard to make any conclusions based on those studies because there are so many factors. I think the fat in the French Fries is of much greater concern than the acrylamide.
I'm glad to read the Joe's posts above that the bureaucracy is at least attempting to stop digging deeper in the hole it dug itself, in the case of coffee.
And if at some point it can be asserted that lighter coffee roasts are better for you than dark roasts, I will not be upset.:coffee1: