WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the dangers of powdered caffeine, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is calling for swift action to immediately ban the retail sale of the lethal product. Last week, Brown met with the parents of Logan Stiner, a senior at Keystone High School in LaGrange, who died just three days before his high school graduation after ingesting too much powdered caffeine. During their trip to Washington, D.C., the Stiners also met with FDA officials, which prompted this week’s warning on the FDA website.
“The FDA’s warning signals the serious threat posed by powdered caffeine,” Brown said. “But a message on the FDA’s website won’t prevent teenagers from buying and using this lethal powder. While it’s too late to save Logan Stiner, the FDA must immediately ban the retail sale of powdered caffeine before more lives are lost.”
During the meeting with Brown and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in Washington, the Stiner family joined the parents of Wade Sweatt – a 24-year-old Georgia resident who also died after ingesting caffeine powder – and advocates from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to deliver a citizen petition urging the FDA to ban the sale of powdered caffeine.
There have been at least two deaths from powdered caffeine. In Ohio alone, more than 200 people have been admitted to the hospital for caffeine overdoses, including five life-threatening cases. According to the FDA, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee – more than six times the recommended daily amount of caffeine for an adult. Although the FDA has alerted consumers to the dangers of powdered caffeine on its website, these products remain on the shelves and available online without any sort of regulation, warnings, or protections.
In October, Brown joined Stiner’s parents in calling on the FDA to ban the sale of this lethal substance. Brown and Blumenthal sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on October 23.