Highly caffeinated products banned after death of Lachlan Foote

Nigel Foote says a ban on the sale of highly caffeinated products in Australia will save lives.

In December, the federal government enacted the ban, prompted by the death of Mr Foote's son Lachlan, on January 1, 2018.

In July 2019, the NSW Coroner found the 21-year-old from Blackheath had died from caffeine toxicity. Lachlan's family believe that he innocently added too much pure caffeine powder to a protein shake after returning home on new year's eve, prompting Mr Foote to speak out on the dangers of the powder.

"Lachlan's death will save others - he would be really pleased," Mr Foote said.

"We will never really know how many people have died from caffeine toxicity as it requires a specialist forensic test to find out. Some doctors believe that many people have died due to heart failure without the true cause ever being diagnosed."

The ban applies to pure and highly caffeinated products 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.

Richard Colbeck, the minister responsible for food regulation, 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 found that a heaped tablespoon of caffeine powder containing five per cent caffeine would deliver around 825mg of caffeine," he 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."

Mr Foote would also like to see energy drinks banned for children under the age of 16, as is being adopted in Britain.

"Hopefully, the government's upcoming caffeine education campaign will make people more aware, and the community will pressure the government to protect our children," he said.

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