The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to five distributors of pure powdered caffeine because the products are dangerous and present “significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury to consumers,” the FDA said.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) released a statement supporting the FDA and its decision.
“We have been, and continue to be, supportive of the FDA’s efforts in this area to educate consumers about the potential dangers of pure powdered caffeine. We share the agency’s concern about the safety of this product being sold directly to consumers. In fact, earlier this year CRN updated its voluntary guidelines for caffeine-containing products to include restraints against the sale and marketing of pure powdered caffeine. Our guidelines do not limit marketing or sales of pure powdered caffeine in bulk form as part of a business-to-business transaction, but we have advised that our companies- and we hope the industry will follow suite – should not sell or market pure powdered caffeine in bulk form directly to consumers. We hope the companies receiving the warning letters will take these concerns seriously, and if not, we look to [the] FDA to take the next steps under the law,” said Rend Al-Mondhiry, part of the regulatory council.
The FDA stated that the difference between safe and toxic amounts is very small, and that this product cannot be measured accurately enough in a common kitchen.
After two healthy young men died in 2014, the FDA issued Consumer Advice alerting consumers to the dangers of pure powdered caffeine.
One teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine is equal to approximately 28 cups of regular coffee, the FDA said.
“The FDA will continue to aggressively monitor the marketplace for pure powdered caffeine products and take action as appropriate. If violations exist, the FDA can pursue enforcement action, such as seizure of the product or an injunction to prevent the firm from continuing to manufacture or market the product,” the FDA said.