Starbucks China has responded to public concerns that a chemical in its coffee may cause cancer, saying that "providing quality and safe foods and beverages to consumers" is the company's highest priority.
The statement made on Saturday comes in response to a ruling earlier this week by a judge in California that might see Starbucks and other coffee sellers in the state required to print warnings on their products that they contain acrylamide.
The suit was filed against Starbucks along with 90 other companies in 2010, claiming that they were violating state law by not warning consumers about the acrylamide in their product. Acrylamide is a potential carcinogen that is created when coffee beans are roasted.
According to the U.S. Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, warning labels should be used to inform consumers when a product contains one or more of around 900 chemicals believed to cause cancer or birth defects. Private citizens, advocacy groups, and attorneys are allowed to sue on behalf of the state and collect a portion of the civil penalties for failures to provide the warnings.
There are still a couple of weeks for the defendants to appeal the ruling.
The World Health Organization (WHO) removed coffee from its list of "possible carcinogens" in 2016.
Some coffee drinkers say they'll give coffee drinking a second thought after the ruling, while others say that nothing can stop them from treating themselves to a few cups of coffee a week.