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Schumer Calls On FDA To Ban Powdered Caffeine, Citing Dangers To Teens

Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a ban on powdered caffeine.
Sen. Charles Schumer is calling for a ban on powdered caffeine. Photo Credit: Sen. Schumer

PUTNAM COUNTY, N.Y. -- Sen. Charles Schumer (D - New York) urged the Food and Drug Administration to ban powdered caffeine, which has been linked to at least two deaths among young adults recently.

“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,” Schumer said in a statement. “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 and is readily available on the internet and in some retail stores.

Two young adults have 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.

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.

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