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FDA Finally Takes Enforcement Action against Distributors of Deadly Powdered Caffeine

Statement of CSPI Regulatory Affairs Director Laura MacCleery

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Today the Food and Drug Administration issued enforcement letters warning five companies that continuing sales of powdered caffeine will result in agency action, which could include seizure of the products under the law.

The letters show progress on the issue, but the agency’s action today falls short of a comprehensive ban and recall of the product. We know that powdered caffeine caused the tragic deaths of Logan Stiner, an 18-year-old, and Wade Sweatt, a 23-year-old, who both died in the summer of 2014. We hope that these letters are a first step toward a ban, as our petition last year urged, and not a substitute for one.

Pure caffeine never should have been sold to consumers. A teaspoon is a fatal dose for a child, and two teaspoons would kill most adults. FDA has clear authority to ban such a hazardous product and should do so.

Read the FDA's letters here:

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).