'Early Show' Brews Up Hype on Decaf Coffee
The mediaâ€™s daily grind against the food industry continued as CBS warned viewers that even decaf coffee isnâ€™t decaffeinated enough.
â€śIf you are having decaf with your breakfast this morning, we have some shocking news,â€ť co-host Rene Syler informed viewers of the October 12 â€śEarly Show.â€ť â€śA new study finds most decaffeinated coffee drinks contains some caffeine,â€ť Syler added as she introduced a story by correspondent Randall Pinkston.
But decaffeinating a drink is no guarantee that it removes all the caffeine, and health experts have known that for years. Yet CBSâ€™s Pinkston portrayed the â€śshockingâ€ť revelation as a hidden health threat.
â€śThousands of people do drink decaf because of health issues,â€ť for medical reasons â€śbut if you drink decaffeinated coffee because you think youâ€™re eliminatingâ€ť the stimulant, â€śthink again,â€ť cautioned Pinkston, pointing to a recently published study from the University of Florida.
Scientists found â€ścaffeine concentrations of up to 14 milligrams per 16-ounce cup.â€ť That works out to less than one-tenth the caffeine in a regular cup of coffee.
That could be a problem, said Pinkston because â€śdoctors say just 10 milligrams can give a sensitive person the jitters.â€ť
But how new is this scientific discovery? â€śGo Ask Alice,â€ť a question-and-answer feature from Columbia Universityâ€™s Health Promotion Program informed readers of the low-caffeine content in decaf coffee five years ago.
In a Sept. 7, 2001, posting entitled â€śDoes caffeine raise blood pressure,â€ť â€śAliceâ€ť noted that itâ€™s advisable for patients with hypertension to â€ślimit or eliminate caffeine from their eating planâ€ť and suggested that â€śpeople who cannot give up good olâ€™ javaâ€ť could turn to decaf coffee. â€śAliceâ€ť noted that a decaf cup of Joe has â€śa typical caffeine content of about 5 mg per 8 oz. cup (versus 135 mg of caffeine for the regular brew).â€ť
â€śAliceâ€ť also suggested hot cocoa as a coffee alternative that also delivers â€śapproximately 5 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. mugâ€ť while also benefiting drinkers with calcium.
The Business & Media Institute has previously documented how the network morning shows have gone on an anti-java jihad. On the June 19 â€śGood Morning America,â€ť ABCâ€™s Elisabeth Leamy treated Starbucks coffee to scrutiny from the liberal Center for Science in the Public Interest. Two days later, CBS correspondent Susan McGinnis worried about American teenagers hanging out after-school at coffee shops.
â€śCoffee has always been considered an adult drink, but today coffee drinkers are much, much youngerâ€ť with â€śmany teensâ€ť downing java as â€śa daily ritual,â€ť the reporter warned on the June 21 â€śEarly Show.â€ť