Suffolk Legislature Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory and Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport) go to Washington Tuesday to lobby federal regulators for a ban on powdered caffeine sales to minors that would mirror the county's landmark law adopted earlier this year.
The two lawmakers will be joined by the parents of teen Logan Stiner of LaGrange, Ohio, who died of a powdered caffeine overdose.
Gregory (D-Amityville) called the possibility of overdose "a clear and present danger," noting one teaspoon of the powdered caffeine is the equivalent of 25 cups of coffee. "We are hopeful the FDA will adopt a similar ban and carefully regulate dosage recommendations" and require prominent warning labels, he said.
"The bottom line is that a simple mistake in how powdered caffeine products are used can lead to loss of life," said Spencer. "These products entice [young] consumers by promising to give extra energy, focus, weight loss, and even increased sports abilities, without addressing the significant dangers that they pose."
Spencer, a physician, added that caffeine is an addictive chemical and the concentrated powder can poison young users.
Spencer, Gregory, along with Dennis and Katie Stiner, and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will askthe Food and Drug Administration to classify pure caffeine as a drug and implement protective regulations.
Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocate group that has been working on a petition to press the FDA to implement regulations, also is involved in Tuesday's effort.