Families, lawmakers call for FDA ban on powdered caffeine

Families who lost loved ones to powdered caffeine overdoses joined senators on Capitol Hill in calling for the Food and Drug Administration to ban the product.

For Katie and Dennis Stiner of Ohio and Julie and Jim Sweatt of Alabama, the death of their sons was just as fresh today as the day they died.

A scholar athlete, Logan Stiner was three days from graduating high school. His father said he was going to be a chemical engineer until his life was unexpectedly cut short.

>> Read more trending stories 

“He was just a great spirit, a friendly kid,” said Dennis Stiner. “He worked a full time job, carried a 4.3 GPA, had a girlfriend and was just a special kid."

Wade Sweatt, 24, of Alpharetta, Ga., was described by his parents as being a health-conscious, smart, great all -around kid.

“He made a mistake and a lot of other people can make a mistake,” said Jim Sweatt in describing his son’s decision to try powdered caffeine. “And that’s why we're here.”

Both families are urging the FDA to ban powdered caffeine.

Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) echoed the calls for the FDA to take the product off the shelves.

“It's past time for the FDA to ban the retail sale, period,” said Brown. “Make no mistake, even a small amount of powdered caffeine can result in a tragedy.”

Brown said the recommended dosage for powdered caffeine is 1/16th of a tablespoon, but noted many of the products on display showed no such warning. He said one tablespoon of the white substance is equal to 28 cups of coffee.

Blumenthal also called for an immediate ban.

“Ban it. Ban it now. Ban it everywhere that it can be sold. Ban it to save lives,” said Blumenthal.

The FDA issued a warning last year and said four of the five producers of powdered caffeine that received letters are no longer making the product. The fifth is no longer marketing it, the FDA said. The agency advised against ingesting it.

“The FDA is not aware of any new adverse event reports associated with pure powdered caffeine since we took action in Aug. 2015, but we are continuing to actively monitor the market for dangerous or violative products and will consider taking additional regulatory action, as appropriate, to protect consumers.”

“We can assure you that the FDA takes concerns raised about safety of these types of products very seriously and we are considering the matters raised by the petition and giving it our careful attention.”

The families who lost loved ones said they’ll continue making the trip to Washington until action is taken.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation & World

'Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth
'Potentially hazardous' monster asteroid will fly close to Earth

A monster space rock classified by NASA as "potentially hazardous" is headed toward Earth. Asteroid 2002 AJ129 – which at 0.7 miles is wider than the tallest building in the U.S. (New York's One World Trade Center) stacked on top of itself – is predicted to miss our planet, according to Metro. However, it will pass...
Georgia sheriff: I don't care if you're from Wisconsin or need beer, stay home
Georgia sheriff: I don't care if you're from Wisconsin or need beer, stay home

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office was back at it again with the jokes (and insults) as Georgia woke up to a messy wintry mix Wednesday, prompting schools, businesses and nearly three-fourths of the state’s roadways to close. State government offices are remaining closed for non-essential personnel Thursday across the 83 counties...
Companies turn your Facebook friends into a sales force
Companies turn your Facebook friends into a sales force

Betsy Stover was 17 when her mother asked her to help fax strangers, hawking a service that had the markings of a pyramid scheme. “I always felt like a creep sending unsolicited faxes,” said Stover, who hated the chore, but knew the work required cold calls to succeed. Stover, now a 38-year-old comedian based in Los Angeles, had largely...
Can’t miss gifts for techies
Can’t miss gifts for techies

Technophiles are hard to shop for, or so we’re told. Here are some can’t-miss gifts, we’d enjoy. Nothing beats a perfect hamburger any day of the year, and the Cave Tools Burger Press makes one every time. The aluminum burger press has indicator lines to make 4.5-inch round 1/4 pounders or 1/3 pounders for burger lovers, all in the...
Home-sharing startup uses cryptocurrency instead of dollars
Home-sharing startup uses cryptocurrency instead of dollars

Airbnb may be the biggest home-sharing game in town, but a new startup is trying to push its way into the market. Enter CryptoBnB: the online home-sharing platform that wants you to pay for your couch-surfing stays using digital currency. That’s right — this startup is combining two of the trendiest topics — home-sharing and cryptocurrency...
More Stories