James R. Coughlin

James R. Coughlin

James R. Coughlin, M.S. Ph.D. CFS

Position Title
President & Founder

Coughlin & Associates: Consultants in Food/Nutritional/Chemical Toxicology & Safety


Dr. James R. Coughlin is an internationally recognized expert in food, nutrition and chemical safety, toxicology and regulatory affairs.  He received his M.S. in Food Science and Technology, Ph.D. in Agricultural & Environmental Chemistry and postdoctoral training in Environmental Toxicology at the University of California, Davis, where his research focused on the formation, analysis and toxicity of potentially carcinogenic compounds formed from nitrite during the Maillard Browning Reaction.  Before undertaking his current role as an independent consultant in California in 1991, he worked for two years at Armour Foods and ten years at General Foods & Kraft General Foods International headquarters.  Dr. Coughlin is a Fellow and Certified Food Scientist of the Institute of Food Technologists, serves as an IFT Food Science Communicator and has also served for over a decade as IFT’s Codex Subject Expert on Contaminants in Food.  He served as President of the Paris-based Association for Science and Information on Coffee and continues as a member of its Board, and he has over 35 years’ experience on coffee/caffeine health issues.  He also served as Vice President of the International Society for Trace Element Research in Humans, organizing numerous society symposia.  He guided a decade-long scientific research program seeking to establish the human nutrient essentiality of boron and has also developed extensive expertise on the risk assessment of essential and toxic minerals.  Dr. Coughlin has been deeply involved with managing California Proposition 65 issues since the law’s inception in 1987, has over 40 years’ experience on meat and cancer, has specialized in benefit-risk evaluation of foods and ingredients, and is an expert on risk communication.  He provides strategic scientific, toxicologic, nutritional, communications and regulatory counsel to many food, functional food, dietary supplement, chemical, and consumer products companies and their trade associations, law firms and public relations firms.

Awards and Honors

2009: Institute of Food Technologists - Fellow

2020: Institute of Food Technologists - Bernard L. Oser Food Ingredient Safety Award

2021: Southern California Institute of Food Technologists Section - Distinguished Achievement Award