• In a recent proposed statement of decision, LA Superior Court Judge Elihu Berle dealt a blow to Starbucks and a number of other defendants in a case regarding Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide in coffee, finding that the defense failed to support any of the three criteria necessary to support an alternative significant risk level (ASRL) in lieu of the existing no significant risk level (NSRL) of 0.2 microgram per day.
  • Specifically, Judge Berle held that the defendants failed to (a) establish that acrylamide is created by cooking or processing necessary to render coffee safe or palatable; (b) demonstrate that sound considerations of public health justify applying an ASRL; or (c) present persuasive evidence of what would be an appropriate alternative risk level (a quantitative risk assessment regarding the risk of developing cancer from exposure to acrylamide in coffee) taking into account public health considerations .
  • Acrylamide is listed as both a carcinogen and reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65. However, only a warning concerning carcinogenicity has been at issue in this case, presumably because the safe harbor level for reproductive toxicity (i.e., the Maximum Allowable Dose Level) is 140 micrograms per day, much lower than the 0.2 microgram NSRL.