In response to a letter to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on restricting the sale of pure powdered caffeine to consumers, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN:
“The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) commended Sens. Sherrod Brown and Richard Blumenthal and their four Senate colleagues for encouraging FDA to take further action to restrict the sale of pure powdered caffeine to consumers via online/retail outlets.
“CRN has been appreciative of FDA’s efforts to date to warn consumers about the safety risks of this commercial-grade product, and urges the agency to take further action under the law, as recommended in the Jan. 22 letter from the senators to the agency.
“Under the law, FDA can remove this product from the marketplace and we think it should do just that. There is no reason why consumers would need—or should use—pure powdered caffeine.
“There are safe and beneficial caffeine-containing dietary supplements on the market for consumers. As the Senators pointed out in their letter, ‘Powdered caffeine sold in bulk is markedly different than energy drinks, energy shots, or other retail products such as pills that contain caffeine.’ In fact, in 2013, CRN issued guidelines for the industry for caffeine-containing products to help ensure appropriate amounts are used in legitimate products and so consumers can better understand how much caffeine they are getting.
“Ingredient suppliers have legitimate reasons to sell pure powdered caffeine to manufacturers of finished products, who then understand how to properly mix and dilute the ingredient into products that are safe for consumers and contain the appropriate amounts of caffeine. Consumers have no reason to purchase pure caffeine and would be unable to properly measure it into doses containing safe levels of caffeine. Direct-to-consumer sales of pure caffeine presents an unreasonable risk to public health.
“We pledge our support to FDA to help get pure powdered caffeine out of the retail environment and out of the hands of consumers.”