Following the death of an Ohio high school student, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the sale of powdered caffeine. During a visit to the Cleveland YMCA, Brown was joined by the parents of Logan Stiner, a senior at Keystone High School in LaGrange, who died just three days before his high school graduation because of ingesting too much powdered caffeine.
“Even the smallest amount of powdered caffeine can be deadly,” Brown said. “We have banned dangerous and deadly alcoholic caffeinated drinks—and now it’s time to do the same with powdered caffeine. While it’s too late to save the Stiner’s son, we must take action before more lives are lost.”
“If powdered caffeine can kill someone like Logan, it knows no borders,” the Stiners said. “Caffeine powder should not be available. That’s why we decided that we must do everything we can to get this product off the market and away from consumers. We are very thankful for all of Senator Brown’s assistance in our battle to have the FDA ban caffeine powder and look forward to meeting with Senator Brown, Senator Blumenthal and FDA officials in Washington this December as we continue our fight to have this lethal substance removed from the market.”
“This form and dosage is highly dangerous,” Henry Spiller, director of the Poison Control Center in Columbus who joined Brown at the press conference today, said. “It's like going to buy firecrackers and someone handing you a stick of dynamite. This is frighteningly dangerous. You can't have 16- and 17-year-olds buying something off the Internet and playing with dynamite."
According to the FDA, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. Although the FDA alerted consumers to the dangers of powdered caffeine on its website following Stiner’s death, these products remain on the shelves and are available online without any sort of regulation, warnings or protections.