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Caffeine powder is deadly, yet it is sitting on store shelves and available online for anyone to buy.
What is caffeine powder? Caffeine powder is caffeine in powder form. The powder is often 100 percent caffeine. It is often sold in bulk and can be bought in stores and on websites that sell vitamins and supplements, like eBay and Amazon.
This product is dangerous. Taking caffeine powder isn’t like drinking a cup of coffee or a can of Red Bull. Just one teaspoon of caffeine powder is equivalent to drinking 25 cups of coffee. The serving size of caffeine powder is 95mg, though the suggested use is 1/32 of a teaspoon. Most households don’t have the tools to measure that small an amount, which makes accidentally overdosing alarmingly easy.
Dr. Henry Spiller directs a poison control center at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "I can't believe you can buy this," Spiller said. "Honestly, I mean, it's frightening. It makes no sense to me."
This powder recently caused the death of Ohio high school senior Logan Stiner. Logan was found unresponsive in his home just a few days before his graduation. The Keystone High School honor student was planning to attend the University of Toledo to study chemical engineering. Lorain County Coroner Dr. Stephen Evans says an autopsy on Logan Stiner didn’t reveal anything — natural causes — but after a bag of caffeine powder was found, they re-tested Logan’s blood and found a deadly amount in his system. Dr. Evans believes that many caffeine powder deaths across the country may have been missed because the “test for caffeine “ was not performed.
This should not have happened. Logan was a dedicated young man with a bright future ahead of him, and his death is a tragedy for his family and friends.
Because of Logan’s death—and the deaths of many other people from caffeine supplements—the FDA recently issued a warning against caffeine powder. The FDA urges the public not to use this product and to seek medical help immediately if you or someone you know experiences side effects from caffeine powder—such as a rapid heartbeat, vomiting, disorientation, and seizures. The FDA recommends that parents talk about the risks with their children, who may be drawn in by the powder’s claims to increase energy and endurance.
But a warning isn’t enough. We need to do more.
The FDA does not regulate caffeine powder. Caffeine powder is considered a “dietary supplement”. Unlike drugs and medical devices, which have to go through stringent testing and review by the FDA before they are sold to the public, dietary supplements do not need approval from the FDA before going on the market.
The manufacturers, distributors and sellers of caffeine powder do not need FDA approval to market, distribute or produce this dangerous product. Dietary supplement companies are supposed to do their own safety evaluations. This means that dietary supplement companies do not have to show evidence that the products are effective or even safe before selling them to unsuspecting customers.
The FDA does have the power to ban dietary supplements once they have proof that it is unsafe. The facts surrounding Logan Stiner’s death prove that caffeine powder is unsafe.
“Logan Stiner had 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system,” according to Lorain County Coroner Stephen Evans, who examined Logan. “You’d have to be a chemist to figure out how much to put in so that you’re not consuming a lethal amount.”
We can tell the FDA to investigate and ban caffeine powder. And we can make sure that this type of tragedy never happens to another family again.
Please sign our petition and join us in the fight to regulate and ban this incredibly dangerous product. We won’t go away until senseless deaths from unregulated, ineffective, and deadly caffeine powder and other supplements are stopped.