Today folks are urging the FDA to ban the sale of powdered caffeine, which is sold online from both foreign and domestic companies. Just one teaspoon of the powder can be fatal and while there are known deaths from powdered caffeine, there may be many more that have gone unknown because dying from too much caffeine mimics a heart attack.
One teaspoon of the powdered caffeine delivers as much caffeine into your system as 25-28 cups of coffee would. For those of you who get the jitters after too much coffee, you can just imagine the frantic feeling of having the caffeine amount on board that’s equivalent to 25 cups of Joe? Horrifying for sure!
ABC News reports on April 27 how a teen, Logan Stiner, who was graduating high school at the top of his class and planning to attend college in the fall to study chemical engineering, died suddenly from too much powdered caffeine. His parents had never heard of the product before his death.
According to Fox News, “Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) echoed the calls for the FDA to take the product off the shelves.” Fox reports that Brown “said the recommended dosage for powdered caffeine is 1/16th of a tablespoon, but noted many of the products on display showed no such warning. He said one tablespoon of the white substance is equal to 28 cups of coffee.”
Another young victim of a caffeine overdose from this product was 24-year-old Wade Sweatt. He went into a coma and never woke up after taking the powdered caffeine for the first time. After his death his parents found on his phone where he had been searching for the correct dosage of the product via conversion charts.
Senator Blumenthal described this product as: “It’s like an explosive, a catastrophe waiting to happen.” After Stiner and Sweatt died from the overdoses of the powdered caffeine in 2014, their families began warning consumers.
The FDA met with these families and then sent out warning letters to several of the companies that make and sell this product. Most of these products were packaged without warning consumers about the dangers of an overdose and if they had a warning it was little more than “use sparingly.”
Some states have banned the product, like Illinois and Ohio, but it needs to happen on a federal level. While the FDA would not comment on the possibility of a future ban, they did release a statement that included:
The FDA did not comment on a potential ban but said in a statement after the press conference that the agency will continue to monitor the market for dangerous products and encouraged Poison Control Centers to report calls related to caffeine to help consider future regulations.