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FDA To Ban Ephedra

The biggest misnomer going is that things at the "health store" are good for you. I would say that the neighborhood GNC aisles are full of junk science, but that's an insult to practitioners of junk science. Most of these supplements don't even bother with biased studies and the like, they just make up their claims. It's not like anyone is stopping them.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration has decided to ban the herbal weight-loss supplement ephedra from the marketplace because of concerns about its effects on health, government officials said Tuesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and Food and Drug Administration chief Mark McClellan were to announce the ban at a midday news conference, the officials said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.

The ban is likely to be met with litigation from manufacturers who dispute the agency's assertion that ephedra, which was blamed in the death of a professional baseball player earlier this year, is a health risk.

The government ban, one of the first involving a dietary supplement, comes after Thompson this summer urged Congress to rewrite a law that rolled back dietary-supplement regulations and to require manufacturers to acknowledge potential side effects.

It seems like a more sensible (and less litigious) scenario would be to classify ephedra as a narcotic and require prescriptions.

Comments (3)

"It seems like a more sensi... (Below threshold)

"It seems like a more sensible (and less litigious) scenario would be to classify ephedra as a narcotic and require prescriptions."

Or just post warnings/labels and let adults make their own decisions.

You know, like we do for alcohol, which is poisonous and addictive.

I'm with Joe on this one. I... (Below threshold)

I'm with Joe on this one. I think we're already warring on enough drugs.

Have you seen the bit about... (Below threshold)

Have you seen the bit about "but it's okay for the Chinese medical practitioners to use it because they've been using it for years"?

Yeah - if it's sooooo harmful in its intended use, then ban it. If not, the little warning labels that come on the packaging should be plenty.

Caffeine can cause breast lumps in women with fibrocystic disease. Wait - ban all caffeine! Grrr.







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