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DUNKIN' BRANDS & FRANCHISEE NEWS

Coffee Cancer Case Percolating Again

October 11, 2018

For the past couple of months, the hope existed that litigation pending in a Los Angeles Superior Court would ultimately be dismissed after the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recommended coffee retailers be exempted from California Proposition 65 requirements to include a cancer warning on coffee. Public comments included an endorsement of the exemption from the FDA itself, which cited a World Health Organization (WHO) report on cancer. Notwithstanding, this week Judge Elihu M. Berle rejected separate bids by Dunkin’ and Starbucks along with dozens of other coffee roasters to dismiss the possibility of civil penalties being applied. Dunkin’, Starbucks and other defendants argued that the claims are preempted by federal law and barred by the First Amendment. The court rejected those arguments and the trial’s penalty phase is scheduled to begin this week.

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