Originally Posted by Theron_Jon
Sassafras was stopped being used commercially because it increases the risk of cancer when you consumed, use it cautiously.
I would say that it is safe to say that this is equally a false statement. I say that because there are seemingly just as many sources saying that it is safe as there are saying its not safe. I would only hold this as being accurate if there was harder evidence and more consistency in evidence. However, it is true that the FDA did make a stink about it (back in the 60's I think?) because the safrole oil it produces is a cancer promoter.
With that said though, my findings have also shown that their are just has much carcinogens in the air we breath. I would also say that for anyone who is a smoker, and assuming the statement is true, they are inhaling far more carcinogens than what Sassafras contains. One of the big things to think about that blows your statement out of the water is that Sassafras itself is not what causes the cancer, its safrole oil produced by the trees that is in question and has shown to promote cancer. Their are Sassafras extracts which have the safrole oil removed.
I would say that since the Sassafras root is not being used to produce an extract and that it is sitting in water (the worst medium for extracting) for only for about 30 minutes or so. When making an extract you need to use a very high proof alcohol, such as Everclear, and even then the sassafras still needs to be submerged for a very long time. Im no doctor nor am I a scientist but I can only speculate that the chances of anyone in here getting cancer from brewing root beer is very very very VERY slim.