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AMA Applauds FDA Action to Protect Public From Dangers of Ephedra.
Washington DC, 28 February 2003

Use of Ephedra Presents Significant Risks, Which May Be Serious or Fatal

The following is a statement by Ron Davis, MD, AMA Trustee:

"The American Medical Association (AMA) applauds Secretary Thompson and FDA Commissioner McClellan for recognizing that dietary supplements containing ephedra are a serious threat to public health.

"The new steps announced today represent real progress toward what we hope will ultimately be a ban on ephedra dietary supplements in the United States.

"Last October, the AMA testified before Congress on the dangers of the dietary supplement ephedra and urged the FDA to ban it. The risk/benefit ratio for ephedra products is unacceptable.

"A RAND study released by HHS today reviewed more than 16,000 adverse events reports involving ephedra, including two deaths, four heart attacks, nine strokes, one seizure, and five psychiatric cases.

"Because dietary supplements are classified as foods under federal law, they are assumed to be safe and are subject to limited regulatory oversight. Dietary supplements containing ephedra have significant risks, which may be serious or fatal to people with pre-existing illnesses as well as those who were previously healthy. They should ultimately be removed from the market."


American Medical Association (www.ama-assn.org).end-of-story




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