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Americans' Health Deserves Better than Dirty Tricks on Decaf

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29 October 2020 | NEW YORK - The National Coffee Association (NCA) today warned that attacks on decaffeinated coffee will harm Americans’ health and wrongly ignore decades of independent scientific evidence that coffee drinkers live longer, healthier lives.

Rigorous independent research has repeatedly concluded that both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee are associated with reduced risk of multiple cancers[1] and chronic diseases (including heart disease, stroke, dementia, and type 2 diabetes) and with significantly reduced risk of death from any cause.

One very large, well-designed study found that drinking 3 cups of any kind of coffee per day was associated with a 12 percent reduction in overall mortality (the study specifies: “Similar associations were observed for instant, ground, and decaffeinated coffee…”).[2]

NCA President and CEO William “Bill” Murray commented:

“It is highly irresponsible to mislead Americans about the safety of their favorite beverage. Coffee drinkers live longer with or without caffeine. Period.”

All decaffeinated coffee is made by using liquids to dissolve and remove the caffeine in green coffee beans. Decaffeinated coffee is commonly made using methylene chloride, and regulatory authorities in the United States, Europe, and around the world have concluded that using methylene chloride to decaffeinate coffee is safe.

After decaffeination, the green coffee beans are washed, dried, and roasted at temperatures above 400℉, more than four times hotter than the temperature where methylene chloride evaporates.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has established a safety threshold for methylene chloride of 10 parts per million (that’s the same as 10,000 parts per billion). The Clean Label Project claims to have detected minute traces 100-200 times lower than FDA’s safety threshold.

For more information about coffee and health, visit ncausa.org/decaf

Media inquiries: contact media@ncausa.org. 


[1] American Cancer Society guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention (2020). CA A Cancer J Clin, 70: 245-271. doi:10.3322/caac.21591

[2] Association of Coffee Drinking With Mortality by Genetic Variation in Caffeine Metabolism: Findings From the UK Biobank. JAMA Intern Med. 2018 Aug 1;178(8):1086-1097. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.2425.


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