Cancer Warning for Coffee, Man Swallowed by a Whale, and More News

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A local judge ruled that coffee should carry a cancer warning in California, could it go nationwide? Plus, lobster driver swallowed by a whale and lives to tell the tale, calls to ban off-hours emails from bosses, and more news.

Coffee mug with skull
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California Judge Says Coffee Must Carry a Cancer Warning

A judge in California has ruled that any coffee sold in the state must carry a cancer warning, the Associated Press reported. While the ruling only affects California, many are concerned that such a proclamation could go nationwide.

Why does coffee need a cancer warning?

When coffee is roasted, as occurs with many foods that are cooked, a chemical byproduct is created called acrylamide, which is a carcinogen.

The Los Angeles Superior Court judge’s ruling comes as the result of a lawsuit filed against the coffee industry by a small nonprofit called The Council for Education and Research on Toxics. The lawsuit was filed on the grounds of existing California law which requires warnings where chemicals known to cause cancer birth defects are present, the Associated Press reported.

In response, the coffee industry, led by Starbucks Corp., argued that, while the presence of acrylamide in coffee is known, it is only found in harmless trace levels. Further, they argued that the other health benefits drinking coffee provides outweighs any risks.

The judge ruled against the coffee companies, requiring a warning label.

Man Swallowed by Whale–and Survives

The story of Jonah and the whale from the Old Testament of the Bible just became totally plausible, as a Cape Cod-based lobster diver was swallowed whole by a humpback whale and survived to tell the tale.

Commercial lobster diver Michael Packard, 56, was trapped inside the gullet of the leviathan for nearly a minute, before being coughed out of its mouth, the New York Post reported.

Packard was approximately 35 feet underwater when he was unexpectedly swallowed up.

“All of a sudden, I felt this huge shove and the next thing I knew it was completely black,” Packard told the Cape Cod Times. At first, he thought he’d been snapped up by a great white shark. “And then I felt around and I realized there was no teeth.”

“And then I realized: ‘Oh my God, I’m in a whale’s mouth and he’s trying to swallow me,” Packard said. “This is it, I’m going die’.”

“I saw light, and [the whale] started throwing his head side-to-side and the next thing I knew I was outside [in the ocean],” Packard added. “My first thought was I can’t believe I got out of that situation. My second thought was for how injured I was.”

A boating companion plucked Packard from the sea and rushed him to hospital. He was treated for soft tissue damage to his leg.

“I’m good overall,” Packard said afterward.

Work From Home: Calls To Ban Off-Hours Emails From Bosses

One of the downsides of working from home, which has become the de facto standard for many amid the pandemic, is there is a tendency to always be available all hours of the day. The situation is making it harder to draw the line between work and home life. Some workers are complaining that their mental health is being compromised.

Now, there is a rising call to ban bosses from sending emails to workers during off-hours, the BBC reports. Workers say they are under pressure from bosses to jump on video calls or respond round-the-clock.

In the UK, workers are calling on the government and/or unions to establish rules that would give employees a legal “right to disconnect.” They want bosses to be banned from “routinely emailing or calling” outside of established working hours.