LETTER TO RUMSFELD STRESSES SAFETY AND WEIGHT LOSS BENEFITS, IMPORTANCE OF ASSURING CONTINUED MILITARY PERSONNEL OPTION TO PURCHASE LEGAL EPHEDRA PRODUCTS
WASHINGTON (September 6, 2002) - Today, the responsible manufacturers and distributors of Ephedra dietary supplements released a letter to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld offering to collaborate on educating the millions of military personnel and their families about the proper consumption of Ephedra dietary supplements.
In the letter, the Ephedra Education Council stated that it is "eager to support the military leadership in an effort to educate personnel on the issue of appropriate consumption of Ephedra products."
The letter continues, "The American Obesity Association has reported that 54 percent of military personnel are overweight, and 6.2 percent are considered obese. Sound scientific research continues to show that Ephedra dietary supplements are safe and beneficial for weight loss when used as directed, and internationally recognized weight loss experts have pointed out that Ephedra products are among the most effective weight loss options on the market."
For example, in the Harvard/Columbia study, researchers found that the average weight loss for participants who consumed ephedra and caffeine was between 11 and 12 pounds over a 6-month period, and that this weight loss was achieved without significant adverse reactions. The results of this double-blind, placebo controlled study were published in the May 2002 edition of the International Journal of Obesity.
The letter further states, "Ephedra dietary supplement products labeled by responsible industry manufacturers and distributors should continue to be available for all military and non-military personnel and their families to help maintain health weight. The Surgeon General has correctly labeled obesity a national epidemic. Our nation's military personnel and families are certainly not exceptions when it comes to obesity and the serious health problems associated with even limited excess weight."
Finally, the letter concludes, "the best course toward a resolution to the Army's and Air Forces' concerns is through education and appropriate use, not reflexive reaction to consumer group pressure or press reports. Armed forces personnel should have the right to make informed choices about safe products with proven benefits that are legally available to their civilian counterparts."
Editor's Note: For copies of the letter, feel free to contact Richard Price at 202-789-1447 or at [email protected]rtners.com.
About the Ephedra Education Council
The Ephedra Education Council (EEC) is supported primarily by members of the Ephedra Committee of the American Herbal Products Association, a recognized leader in promoting the safe and responsible marketing of dietary supplements. The Council provides factual information to the media and public about dietary supplements containing Ephedra. For more information, logon to www.EphedraFacts.com.