FDA should ban powdered caffeine, Dems say

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should ban powdered caffeine following the deaths of two people who consumed the substance for what turned out to be a lethal energy boost, top Senate Democrats said Tuesday.


Swallowing one teaspoon of pure caffeine is as powerful as drinking 28 cups of coffee, according to the FDA.

The FDA has taken steps to restrict powdered caffeine marketing efforts by five companies, but it has yet to ban the substance. The senators pointed to another 19 companies that still sell it.

They said the FDA has been a “bitter disappointment” in dealing with the issue.

In a letter to the FDA sent Tuesday, Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocratic senators ask DOJ watchdog to expand Giuliani probe Trump commutes sentence of ex-Illinois Gov. Blagojevich in rash of clemency orders The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in MORE (Ill.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerBarr to testify before House Judiciary panel Graham won't call Barr to testify over Roger Stone sentencing recommendation Roger Stone witness alleges Trump targeted prosecutors in 'vile smear job' MORE (N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownTrump pick for Fed seat takes bipartisan fire On The Money: Deficit spikes 25 percent through January | Mnuchin declines to say why Trump pulled Treasury nominee who oversaw Roger Stone case | Lawmakers trade insults over Trump budget cuts Mnuchin defends Treasury regulations on GOP tax law MORE (Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyKennedy, Markey spar over experience in first Senate primary debate The Hill's Campaign Report: Bloomberg to face off with rivals at Nevada debate Massachusetts Democrats question deployment of Border Patrol teams to sanctuary cities MORE (Mass.) urged the agency to ban the sale of powdered caffeine.

"It is disturbing that despite two unintended and untimely deaths associated with powdered caffeine, the FDA has done little to regulate these products or adequately enforce the standards in place to protect Americans,” the lawmakers wrote. 

“These products do not provide a way to measure a safe dosage per FDA recommendations, and are sold in quantities that could easily kill hundreds of individuals if ingested incorrectly,” they added.