FDA Wants to Ban Pure Caffeine Powder Due to Overdoses
Most people wake up and start their day with a harmless cup of coffee. At lunch, they order a soda to quench their thirst. The boost that the caffeine in those beverages provides us with, helps us get through the day and home to relax at night. What most people don’t realize is how that caffeine can be potentially dangerous in larger amounts. This danger has come to light recently with the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) current attempt to ban pure caffeine powder.
Pure caffeine powder is used as a dietary supplement and most stores have stopped carrying it in bulk on the shelves; however, it is still easily purchased on the internet. The problem with such easy accessibility is that there are no regulatory practices in place. The FDA heavily regulates the amounts that you find in everyday products, but currently does not regulate it in its purest form. Once it is purchased there are no rules as to the way or how much is being used. This negligence can cause death. To understand how potent pure caffeine powder actually is consider this: a teaspoon of pure caffeine powder is the equivalent of 25 cups of coffee. Its strength is a particular draw to people who use it for the perceived energy boost. This is proving to be fatal. In May of 2014, an Ohio teenager died from an overdose after consuming pure caffeine powder and the death of a Georgia man has been recently been linked to it. The complication with pure caffeine powder is that in its powdered form it is a pure chemical and the difference between a safe amount and a lethal dosage is minimal. Overdosing is easily done when one is not equipped with the proper measuring tools. Signs of toxicity and overdose include rapid or irregular heartbeat, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, and death.
The Food and Drug Administration and the parents of the young man who overdosed in Ohio are currently lobbying in Washington for more regulatory oversight and to ban pure caffeine powder. These stronger regulations will help with stricter rules on using and distributing pure caffeine powder saving lives in the process. If you have had any adverse effects from ingesting pure caffeine powder or highly caffeinated beverages, you are encouraged to contact the FDA immediately. You can reach them via email at CAERS@cfsan.fd.gov or via telephone at 240-402-2405. Your help could make the difference of life and death further down the road. Keep this in mind the next time you consume a heavily caffeinated beverage to get you through the day without thinking of the dangerous and possibly deadly side effects.