technology

FDA Bans Bulk Retail Sales of Pure Caffeine, Citing Health Risks

The Food and Drug Administration is warning dietary supplement retailers that bulk sales of highly concentrated or pure caffeine to consumers is illegal.

These products “present a significant public health threat,” and the FDA will immediately begin seeking to remove such products from the market, according to agency guidance released Friday.

In 2015 and 2016, the agency issued warning letters to seven distributors following the death of two young people who ingested powdered caffeine. It has continued to see an uptick of similar products sold online.

A teaspoon of powdered pure caffeine can contain as much as 3,200 milligrams of caffeine, a potentially toxic dose that’s 16 times the recommended safe serving. Consumers risk overuse or misuse when the product is sold in bulk, including teenagers who mix high amounts of it into workout cocktails for an energy boost, the FDA said.

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