December 31, 2003
The FDA announced it is banning the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedra. This is the first-ever ban on a dietary supplement since the establishment of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) in 1994. Ephedra has been shown to present a significant and unreasonable risk to human health based on existing scientific evidence. Although ephedra has been used as a medicinal herb for asthma for thousands of years in Asia, it has been promoted recently as a stimulant and appetite suppressant. Misuse and overdose of ephedra have resulted in heart attack, stroke, seizure, psychosis and death. Consumers are urged by the FDA to stop buying and using ephedra-containing products immediately.