herbal supplement ephedra is now illegal in New York.
George Pataki has signed into law a measure that outlaws the substance,
which has been connected with the deaths of a number of athletes
and has been the target of both state and federal officials. During
the signing ceremony, Pataki cited one athlete who died after using
the nation, dietary supplements containing ephedra have been implicated
in serious health problems, yet few consumers are aware of the danger,”
Pataki said in a statement. “By banning the sale of most ephedra
products in New York State, this important new public safety measure
will help to prevent the tragic deaths of young athletes like Steve
was a pitching prospect for the Baltimore Orioles who collapsed
during spring training and died the next day. A Florida coroner’s
report determined that ephedra was a contributing factor in the
athlete’s death, which was primarily caused by heat stroke. Bechler
ban applies to over-the-counter, unregulated dietary supplements
that contain a natural, herbal version of ephedra. A statement from
the governor’s office said the new prohibition does not apply to
nonprescription, over-the-counter drugs regulated by the Food and
Drug Administration or to the Chinese herb ma huang – the sources
of ephedra used in diet supplements – if it is dispensed by practitioners
of acupuncture or Chinese medicine.
outlets could face a $500 fine every time they sell a dietary supplement
containing ephedra, media outlets reported.
York is not the first state to target the supplement. In May, Gov.
Rod Blagojevich of Illinois signed a bill into law that banned all
over-the-counter sales of ephedra, except in products that receive
approval from the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and then
only when deemed “safe and effective for its intended use” or under
a label approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.
law was also inspired by the death of an athlete. Illinois student
Sean Riggins, 16, died after taking the drug to enhance his performance
on the football field, The Associated Press reported.
Gov. Gray Davis signed a law earlier this year that will ban ephedra
sales beginning in January, and the FDA is considering a nationwide
ban on the dietary supplement, The Associated Press reported
July 24. The possible action was revealed by FDA Commissioner Mark
McClellan as he spoke before two House panels.
is an herbal supplement frequently sold at convenience stores, and
is often marketed as an “energy booster” and weight-loss aid. Some
brands specifically market to truckers, and several types of pills
containing the substance are frequently found near check-out counters
at truck stops.
Mark H. Reddig, associate editor
Reddig can be reached at email@example.com.