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WHO says ‘no conclusive evidence’ that coffee causes cancer

The World Health Organization’s research agency reversed its warning that drinking coffee causes cancer, citing “no conclusive evidence for a carcinogenic effect” from coffee drinking.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer explained that this ruling “does not mean that a substance has been proven to be safe. It means that the existing scientific data do not enable a conclusion to be made about whether it causes cancer.”

The agency panel previously described coffee as “possibly carcinogenic” in a 1991 report and linked it to bladder cancer.

But the agency also says that drinking “very hot” beverages, including coffee, mate and teas heated to as much as 160 degree Fahrenheit, was “probably carcinogenic” because of the harm it poses the throat.

Dana Loomis, deputy head of the IARC program, told the Associated Press that there is limited evidence that suggests very hot beverages may cause “thermal injury” in the throat which could produce tumors.

So, does this mean that the agency made the wrong conclusion in its previous research? In a June 15 statement, the international agency said, “No.”

Since 1991, the agency explained it has collected more data and conducted better studies, saying, “[S]cientific knowledge is always evolving.”

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