Date published: 
12 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

Pure and highly concentrated caffeinated food products will be banned from today as the Australian Government continues to deliver on its earlier commitment to protect consumers.

Minister Richard Colbeck, who has a portfolio responsibility for food regulation, said the ban would be implemented after all five recommendations from a report into the safety of caffeine products were accepted.

Earlier this year the Morrison Government vowed to tighten regulations following the death of Lachlan Foote, a day before his 22nd birthday.

“I’m pleased with the swift action that has been taken to prevent the risk of more unnecessary deaths from consumption of these dangerous products,” Minister Colbeck said. 

The ban applies to foods for retail sale where total caffeine is present in a concentration of five per cent more in solid or semi-solid foods, like powders, and one per cent or more if the food is in liquid form.

Minister Colbeck said the ban did not affect caffeinated products like coffee, energy or cola drinks and sports foods, which have much lower concentrations.

“An assessment by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) found that a heaped tablespoon of caffeine powder containing five per cent caffeine would deliver around 825 mg of caffeine,” Minister Colbeck said. 

“This is a significant dose at which the risk of serious health effects start to increase and should not be available for retail sale.”

Across the next year, FSANZ will be working to provide clarity under the Food Standards Code on safe levels of caffeine.

An education campaign will also start shortly to help inform Australian consumers about the risks of caffeine powders and purchasing these products online.