FOLLOWING SEVERAL TRAGIC DEATHS, SCHUMER CALLS ON THE FDA TO BAN POWDERED CAFFEINE – ONE TEASPOON OF CONCENTRATED POWDERED CAFFEINE IS EQUIVALENT TO 25 CUPS OF COFFEE & IS HIGHLY DANGEROUS FOR TEENS & YOUNG ADULTS
At Least Two Teenagers Across the Country Died Last Summer After Accidentally Ingesting Too Much Caffeine –Product Is Becoming Increasingly Popular For Teens Looking to Get An Edge In School, Sports & More
Schumer Is Urging the Food and Drug Administration to Ban the Sale and Marketing of Powdered Caffeine – Drug, Which Is Often Snorted Like Cocaine, Is Currently Perfectly Legal
Schumer Also Noted That the Product, Used Primarily Among Teens & Often in Combination With Alcohol, Is a Proven Health Hazard
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban powdered caffeine, an increasingly popular product that has been linked to at least two tragic deaths among teenagers and many hospital visits across the country. Powdered caffeine is currently unregulated because it is marketed as a dietary supplement, which means that manufacturers of dietary supplements do not need FDA approval before producing or selling their products. According to the FDA, one teaspoon of concentrated powdered caffeine is equivalent to twenty-five cups of coffee. Schumer said that the product is readily available online and can be purchased rather easily and in bulk. Schumer explained that in some cases, individuals mix the caffeine into energy drinks, snort the powder like a drug, or combine it with alcohol—a proven health hazard. Schumer today urged the FDA to do everything in its power to quickly ban the retail sale and marketing of powdered caffeine, as it can be highly dangerous and lead to accidental overdoses.
“Powdered caffeine is highly dangerous, is becoming increasingly popular for teens looking to get an edge in school and sports, and can be lethal when ingesting just a teaspoon or two. Our food and drug safety experts at the FDA must act quickly to ban this dangerous product,” said Senator Schumer. “We all remember Four Loko, which combined an incredibly high level of alcohol and caffeine; after Four Loko caused a number of deaths and hospitalizations, the FDA stepped in and stopped companies from selling the Four Loko. Likewise, the FDA should step in and immediately ban powdered caffeine, before it claims the lives of any more young adults.”
A typical 250 gram packet of powdered caffeine costs less than $20; the product is readily available on the internet and in some retail stores. The recommended dose of powdered caffeine is just 1/16 of a teaspoon, which demonstrates its potency. One teaspoon of pure caffeine is a lethal dose for a child and between one and two teaspoons is likely to cause death in an adult. According to the FDA, symptoms of caffeine overdose may include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death.
Several young adults have tragically died as a result of powdered caffeine. In May, an 18-year old high school student from Ohio, Logan Stiner, died after overdosing on powdered pure caffeine. According to reports, Stiner suffered cardiac arrhythmia and a seizure. In June, a 24-year old college graduate from Georgia, James Wade Sweatt, died after being in a coma caused by powdered pure caffeine. Both individuals used powdered caffeine as a way to get an energy boost. Schumer also said that Suffolk County was the first jurisdiction in the country to ban the sale of powdered caffeine to anyone under the age of 18.
In 2014, the FDA posted an advisory that warned consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine, however, the agency has not yet issued a ban on the substance. The FDA is currently building a legal case against companies that sell powdered caffeine. Schumer today said that, while these are good first steps, it’s clear that the danger will continue to exist as long as these products are legally sold on store shelves and internet marketplaces.
Schumer has a strong record in working towards protecting New Yorkers from potential public health hazards. In 2011, Schumer urged the FDA to ban AeroShot, a caffeine inhaler that sends 100mgs of caffeine into the body. After Schumer’s push, the FDA issued warning letters to the makers of AeroShot for false statements in labeling their product. The FDA also expressed concern about the use of AeroShot by children and adolescents and in combination with alcohol. In 2010, after Schumer’s push, the FDA issued a rule banning alcoholic drinks that contain caffeine, like Four Loko.
Schumer today voiced his grave concern for the continued retail sale and marketing of powdered caffeine. Schumer is urging the FDA to immediately ban powdered caffeine before it hurts or kills any more individuals across the country.
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