Lyon, France – The International Agency for Research on Cancer said there is not enough evidence to say coffee caused cancer. In a previous statement, the agency based in Lyon included the grain in its list of “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Instead, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that actually, hot beverages in general, including water, could increase the risks of developing tumors in the esophagus. According to Harvard T.H. Chan, School of Public Health, 54% of the Americans over 18 years old drink beverages with caffeine every day, no wonder the U.S. Coffee Association received the update as “great news.”

Coffee not linked to cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer said there is not enough evidence to say coffee caused cancer. Credit:

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is an intergovernmental agency which also forms part of the WHO’s structure. The research facility is based in Lyon where they perform studies in both human and animals to determine what sentences could cause cancer. They have created a list of five categories: Group 1, Group 2A, Group 2B, Group 3 and Group 4 being the first one carcinogenic to humans and the last one totally harmless. When people claim that something causes cancer, they are probably using IARC data to support their thesis.

According to, the first time IARC said coffee could increase the risk of developing tumors was in 1994 when the organization was revising a chemical called Acrylamide which is in most plants including coffee. Then, the organization went after the grain directly putting it in its Group 2B. However, starting today, coffee lovers can enjoy their favorite beverage without having to worry about fatal disease. They have to lower the temperature, though, WHO said that all hot beverages, from 65 Celsius and above, increase the risk of getting cancer. The organization reached the conclusion after performing several experiments on animals. In conclusion, more research is needed, but WHO suggests people to cool down their beverages as a precaution measure.

The coffee industry isn’t feeling the recession

The coffee business is growing steadily, in spite of the global recession that is hitting most industries. The International Coffee Organization presents a world report every month, and May’s report says that in the first seven months of the year, coffee exports increased 0.7% with 9.32 million bags traded in April. Additionally, the report registers 71.14 million bags of Arabica, which has indigenous origins and comes from the forests of southwestern Ethiopia, were exported in the last months previous to April 2016. Such financial success has to be backed by a reliable infrastructure, and the industry has reported an increase of 1.4% global production with 143.4 million kilograms produced in the 2015/16 season. That leaves the grain sustaining an industry that is reporting an average annual growth of 2.5% which translates into investments and millions of jobs.

WHO included coffee, two to 5 cups a day, in its annual suggestion for a global healthy diet in 2016, and experts around the world say the beverage, which has its origins in Yemen, is more than famous. Hot or cold is the most popular drink in the whole world.

Source: WSJ