Policy ForumMedicine

Ephedra--Scientific Evidence Versus Money/Politics

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Science  18 Apr 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5618, pp. 437
DOI: 10.1126/science.1081910

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Although clear evidence of the dangers of ephedra-containing dietary supplements exists, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to use its legal authority to ban them. This is in the face of bans from the U.S. Army and Air Force commissaries and U.S. sports organizations and a recall from the Canadian government. The author of this Policy Forum urges an FDA ban on ephedra products, which he says has been blocked by lobbying and campaign contributions from Metabolife and other dietary supplement makers. Recently, several companies have reformulated their products without ephedra as the main ingredient, an unsatisfactory "regulatory" alternative to an FDA ban.

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