The FDA had acted previously to stop the flow of these highly concentrated or pure caffeine supplements being sold directly to consumers online. They’re sold in bulk with up to thousands of recommended servings per container.
Scott Gottlieb, M.D., Commissioner of the FDA, wants to get the message out that the highly concentrated forms of caffeine that are being sold in bulk packages are now illegal.
“We’ll act to remove these dangerous bulk products from the market,” Gottlieb said.
Packaged as such, bulk caffeine occupies that notoriously vague classification as a dietary supplement, which requires neither safety studies nor approval to be sold on the U.S. market.
According to the FDA, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 28 cups of coffee. Risk of overuse and misuse is high when highly concentrated caffeine is sold in bulk quantities, and therefore presents a significant and unreasonable risk of illness, injury or even death to the consumer.
Side effects of a caffeine overdose include erratic heartbeat, seizures, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmias and death.
The call for a ban on the supplements was pushed by the parents of Logan Steiner, one of the young men who died from overdosing, and was supported by U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown,D-Cleveland, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
“Nearly four years ago, Ohioan Logan Stiner unnecessarily lost his life to a dangerous and unregulated product. (Friday’s) announcement out of the FDA will finally help ensure other Ohio families never have to suffer the same way the Steiners did. The FDA’s decision to ban the direct sale of pure, lethal powdered caffeine will finally bring about the consumer protections we have been demanding for years,” Brown said.
Source: Wall Street Journal