Death prompts caffeine powder ban

 

AUSTRALIA is banning the sale of pure caffeine powder after a young man died of an overdose.

"Lachlan Foote's death was an absolute tragedy and our government is determined to prevent something like this occurring again," Minister for Youth and Sport Richard Colbeck said today.

"The dangers of pure caffeine powder cannot be underestimated."

The 21-year-old died from acute caffeine toxicity in early 2018 after ingesting one teaspoon of powder.

 

Lachlan Foote died before his 22nd birthday. Picture: Rachael Brady
Lachlan Foote died before his 22nd birthday. Picture: Rachael Brady


A single teaspoon of pure caffeine can be the equivalent of between 25 and 50 cups of coffee.

The ban will not affect products such as coffee, energy drinks and sports foods, which have much lower concentrations of caffeine.

Senator Colbeck cautioned young people against buying caffeine supplements online.

"Australians are also reminded to be cautious about the products they may be purchasing from overseas or online, which may not be safe," he said.

Pure caffeine levels in listed medicines have also been restricted to limit the risk of accidental overdoses.

A coroner concluded Lachlan died of caffeine toxicity. Picture: Nigel Foote
A coroner concluded Lachlan died of caffeine toxicity. Picture: Nigel Foote

Lachlan's father, Nigel Foote, previously told A Current Affair finding his son dead in the bathroom of their Blackheath home was "the most unbelievably riveting, profound, shocking moment you could ever go through".

He welcomed the Government's decision to protect other consumers and save lives.

"Highly caffeinated products are an international problem and the sooner people are educated about the associated health risks, the better," he said.

Mr Foote, who taught his son to play guitar, called on politicians to next look at emulating the UK and banning the sale of energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster to children under 16.