FSANZ to review ban on concentrated caffeine

Thursday, 30 July, 2020

FSANZ to review ban on concentrated caffeine

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for public comment on its review of the ban on the retail sale of pure and concentrated caffeine food products. Pure and concentrated caffeine food products were banned from retail sale in December 2019, following a review which revealed the products pose a high risk to people in the community.

“In August 2019 Health Ministers asked FSANZ to review the safety of these products after the tragic death of a young man in NSW from caffeine toxicity related to a pure caffeine powder. Our risk assessment found small amounts of these substances (less than a teaspoon) can cause severe health effects, including death,” said Mark Booth, FSANZ CEO.

As the products were banned under an urgent proposal, FSANZ is required by the FSANZ Act to review its original decision and determine whether to reaffirm, amend or repeal it. The assessment of the original decision confirmed that the sale of pure or highly concentrated forms of caffeine to consumers is an unacceptable risk. FSANZ recognised that there are broader issues relating to caffeine in the general food supply that could not be addressed in the original proposal due to time constraints and the need to act urgently on these products.

“Therefore, our preferred option is to raise a separate proposal to review the regulation of caffeine in the general food supply and determine if additional measures are needed to protect sensitive subpopulations such as children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people sensitive to caffeine,” Booth said.

The ban on pure and highly concentrated caffeine products will remain in place if a new, separate proposal process is undertaken. To make a submission, visit the FSANZ call for comment page. Submissions will close at 6 pm (Canberra time) on 4 September 2020.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/baibaz

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