I, too, remember sassafras. I remember my father and I digging the roots for making tea each year. The scent coming out of the damp soil when the shovel hit the bark of the roots was lovely. I will still make sassafras tea when I can. I used to make sassafras fudge, pink and fragrant. I hope and believe that the study was faulty. None of my family who drank the tea ever had cancer.
Remember a few years ago when coffee was a contributing cause of cancer? The Amish here in central Pennsylvania sell and drink copious amounts of sassafras tea and sell root shavings to us English...no twigs however. As a child at summer camp we chewed sassafras and birch twigs while learning tree identification. I recall that both twigs were said to have been used by Native Americans as toothbrushes and were an alternative if one was lost in the woods.
I still drink it when I find the source. And I still chew the twigs when I find a tree. I've done that for years now, and I agree with both of you.
However, it seems they tested it on mice, and too much of anything tested on a small critter is going to produce something negative, no doubt. But changes in that finding probably won't be reversed in our lifetime.
And so I continue to write articles on the old ways, but I feel I have to add the warnings as a caution. Too much of anything is never good, you know. But a cup of sassafras tea a day never hurt me. Neither did chewing the twigs.
Thanks for you insight and for your comments. Maybe someday we'll sit down and share a cup of tea.
Stay warm! (even down in Georgia)