Five distributors of pure powdered caffeine received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that their products are potentially dangerous and their labels should be updated to warn consumers that improper use could be deadly.
Pure caffeine powder is a highly concentrated form of the stimulant. A single dose is essentially 100 percent caffeine and a single teaspoon of the pure caffeine powder is about the equivalent to drinking 28 cups of coffee, which is toxic to humans.
Last year, high school senior Logan Stiner died after consuming a lethal dose of pure powdered caffeine. An autopsy revealed that the boy had more than 70 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of blood in his system – about 23 times the amount found in someone who typically drinks coffee or sodas.
Logan’s death prompted an FDA investigation, which led to warnings to consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine because it is nearly impossible to accurately measure the product with common kitchen measuring tools, making it easy to consume a lethal dose.
The FDA warning letters were sent to Smartpowders, Purebulk, National Food Supplements, Hard Eight Nutrition, and Bridge City Bulk. The letters inform the companies that they have 15 business days from the date of receipt of the letter to communicate to the agency specific steps they will take to bring their products into compliance with the law. The letters are a first step toward legal action.
In March, Amazon was slapped with a wrongful death lawsuit by the family of Logan Stiner claiming Amazon and six other companies violated Ohio food and drug safety laws by making, marketing or distributing the pure powdered caffeine that caused their son’s death.