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Ephedra Ban Lifted

April 14,2005 federal judge Tena Campbell of the federal district court in Salt Lake City Utah overturned the ban on ephedra.

Ephedra is an herb used over 5000 years ago to treat some disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis. Because ephedra has the ability to increase metabolism, and burn fat, it has become a popular ingredient used in diet pills.

About 12 to 17 million people used ephedra in 1999, reports the American Herbal Product Association. The Journal of Business Nutrition estimates that ephedra sales in 2002 were $ 1.25 billion.

Ephedra is so strong that its safety is questionable, the FDA removed the ephedra, also known as the Chinese name Ma-huang from the market in April 2004, claiming it was responsible for dozens of deaths.

Ephedra bans do not affect the sale of cold medicines over the counter such as decongestants which often contain ephedrine in synthetic form.

Judge Campbell argued that drug agents had failed to prove that ephedra at low doses were dangerous, and that he had no authority to ban the substance without such evidence.

for the FDA to lift the ban on ephedra.

The US ephedra ban was lifted, among others, the court clarifying that the FDA must comply with the Diet Supplemental Health and Education Act 1994 (DSHEA), and cannot treat the diet

supplements such as medicines or medical devices.

Following a low dose of ephedra does not pose a significant or unreasonable risk with the involvement of evidence. Companies selling ephedra-based products are allowed to continue selling whole herbal ephedra products with no more than 10mg of natural ephedrine alkaloids.


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