RAND Review Supports Weight Loss Benefits, and Calls For End to Speculation About Adverse Events
WASHINGTON (Feb. 28, 2003) - In response to the news conference held today by the Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration, Wes Siegner, general counsel of the Ephedra Education Council, today issued the following statement:
"Based on the RAND Corporation's objective and comprehensive review of the science on ephedra, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its regulatory actions. The Ephedra Education Council (EEC) has always supported regulation of ephedra products based on science. The actions taken today by HHS and FDA will ensure that responsible adults who desperately need weight loss options will have continued access to safe and beneficial ephedra products.
"More than 60 percent of Americans are overweight, and are at a higher risk of serious medical complications, including heart disease and diabetes. The RAND review of ephedra science confirms what weight loss experts have previously stated -- that well-designed clinical trials consistently show that supplements help healthy, overweight people lose more weight than diet and exercise alone. Further, RAND confirms the need for an end to the speculation about adverse reactions to ephedra consumption, like the rush to judgment over the tragic death of Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler.
"Finally, we understand that the RAND review confirms what the EEC and scientific experts have said all along, that no serious events have occurred in any clinical setting, and that the risk of experiencing any adverse reaction to ephedra, if any, is small. The correct path for assessing the potential risk of ephedra is through scientific research, and not speculation. The EEC supports this effort and urges HHS and FDA to implement the recommendations of the RAND Corporation."
The Ephedra Education Council 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.