Sydney youth found dead after consuming caffeine powder

SYDNEY, 8 July 2019: 

Parents of aspiring musician Lachlan Foote have posted a warning about the dangers of caffeine powder, which killed their son just before he turned 22.

Nigel Foote wrote the coroner found his son died of ‘caffeine toxicity’ on 1 Jan 2018.

“It turns out that Lachlan came home after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his friends and made a protein shake, innocently adding too much Pure Caffeine Powder – a teaspoon is lethal (the equivalent of 25-50 coffees).

“Pure Caffeine Powder is marketed as a dietary supplement and often used as an additive in protein shakes. It is legally and easily available online in Australia.

“It appears the pure caffeine powder was bought by someone else and shared, so it’s very likely that Lachlan never got to read the warning label on the packet and was unaware of its potency.”

Nigel wrote his late son had expressed doubt about the drink and had posted just hours before being found dead on his Facebook page: “I think my protein powder has gone off. Just made an anti hangover / workout shake and it tasted awful.”

The US Food and Drug Authority has banned the sale of large quantities of the caffeine powder last year, after it was linked to at least two deaths.

A Cornell University fact sheet states just one teaspoon of pure caffeine powder contains 5,000mg of caffeine, which could be lethal. “Mixing two spoonfuls of the powder into a drink is the same as drinking 70 Red Bulls at once, which could kill you.”

Nigel explained the post is meant to raise awareness about the danger this substance poses. “It’s just insane that something so dangerous is so readily available. Please warn your friends, talk to your children… and perhaps check your kitchen cupboards…pure caffeine powder looks just like any other white powder… but a heaped teaspoon of it will kill you.

“We bear no ill feeling toward whoever shared the caffeine powder with Lachlan as we’re sure this was just a tragic, innocent mistake. However, it’s scandalous that this product has not been banned.”