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Can Coffee Cause Cancer? Only if It’s Very Hot, Says WHO Agency | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Bubbles form on the surface of a cup of coffee in a cafe in New York, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

There is no definite proof that drinking coffee leads to cancer, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency said in reverse of its previous warning, but it also noted that all “very hot” drinks might cause it.

Coffee had been previously rated as possibly carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) however it seems like it has altered its belief.

In regard of the matter, the U.S. National Coffee Association welcomed the change in IARC’s classification as “great news for coffee drinkers”.

It also said that its recent research found no evidence of cancer due to drinking coffee, and added that certain studies showed that coffee could infact get rid of the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Noting that other scientific evidence suggests that drinking anything very hot – around 65 degrees Celsius or above – including water, coffee, tea and other beverages, probably does cause cancer of the oesophagus.

Oesophageal cancer is the eighth most common cause of cancer worldwide and one of the main causes of cancer death, with around 400,000 deaths recorded in 2012.

The WHO’s official spokesman in Geneva, Gregory Hartl, said the evaluation of hot drinks was based on limited evidence in humans and animals, and that more research was needed.
“We say: be prudent, let hot drinks cool down,” he told Reuters, adding that the WHO’s advice was to “not consume foods or drinks when they are at a very hot – scalding hot – temperature”.