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 DurbinSenators struggle to get spending bills off ground as shutdown looms Trump defends push to ban flavored e-cigarettes: Let's 'keep young children from Vaping!' Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine MORE (Ill.), Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownHillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system Hillicon Valley: Uber vows to defy California labor bill | Facebook, Google, Twitter to testify on mass shootings | Facebook's Libra to pursue Swiss payments license MORE (Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Ocasio-Cortez endorses Markey in Senate race amid speculation over Kennedy candidacy House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge 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.