Thursday, April 14, 2005

Whaddaya know, we won one...


A federal judge Thursday struck down the FDA ban on ephedra, the once-popular weight-loss aid that was yanked from the market after it was linked to dozens of deaths.

The judge ruled in favor of a Utah company that challenged the Food and Drug Administration's ban. Utah-based Nutraceutical claimed in its lawsuit that ephedra "has been safely consumed" for hundreds of years.

Supplements that included ephedra have been widely used for weight loss and bodybuilding, but have linked to 155 deaths, including that of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler. The FDA ordered the substance off the market in April 2004.

Judge Tena Campbell's ruling sends the matter back to the FDA "for further rulemaking consistent with the court's opinion" and keeps the agency from enforcement action against the companies.

Indeed. It's infuriating to have to use decongestants like sudafed (which can be easily converted to meth) when ma huang works just as well, and can be made into a nice tea that even Mormons wouldn't find offensive.

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