The group is proposing that offenders pay a fine and clearly post warnings on store counters and walls, so people can easily spot them. It also wants retailers to reduce the amount of chemicals in the products to eliminate the risk of cancer altogether.
While 13 of the defendants, including 7-Eleven, have already settled out of court and agreed to issue warnings, the other nine retailers will meet for private mediations next month, according CNN. If the parties do not come to an agreement, the judge will make a decision.
Previous reports show that coffee can increase the possibility of several cancers, such as ovarian, renal and endometrial. However, other studies have demonstrated the health benefits of coffee. It has been associated with lowering the risk of death from digestive, circulatory and cerebrovascular diseases among other illnesses.
As for acrylamide, the National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens says it's a human carcinogen, and the Food and Drug Administration has suggested ways for folks to cut it out of their diets while they still gather information about the compound.
This isn't the first time companies have been sued over acrymalide, which was added to California's carcinogen list in 1990. In 2008, the California attorney general settled suits against Heinz and Frito-Lay when the brands agreed to decrease the levels of the chemical found in chips.
Starbucks, BP and the other retailers of the latest case will face the Council for Education and Research on Toxics on Feb. 8.