Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for public comment on its review of a recent ban on the retail sale of pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said pure and highly concentrated caffeine food products were banned from retail sale in December last year following a review which found these products pose an unacceptably 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.
“As these products were banned under an urgent proposal, we are now required by the FSANZ Act to review our original decision and decide whether to reaffirm, amend or repeal it.
“Our assessment of the original decision has confirmed that the sale of pure or highly concentrated forms of caffeine to consumers is an unacceptable risk.
“However, we recognise there are broader issues relating to caffeine in the general food supply that couldn't be addressed in our urgent proposal due to the time constraints and need to act urgently on these particular 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.
“The ban on pure and highly concentrated caffeine products would remain in place if a new, separate proposal process is undertaken," Mr Booth said.
To have your say, see our call for comment page. Submissions close at 6pm (Canberra time) 4 September 2020.