Metabolife Renews Call for Tough FDA Regulation of Ephedra; Products Are Safe and Effective When Used as Directed

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Metabolife International, Inc. (Metabolife) in testimony before a congressional subcommittee today, reiterated its position that the Food and Drug Administration should exert its powers to provide strong regulation of products which contain Ephedra.

Lanny J. Davis, an attorney for Metabolife, said, "We need FDA to stringently draft and enforce science-based regulations of Ephedra that protect the public health and preserve consumer choice. Metabolife strongly supports the following six action steps:

  1. A ban on promoting Ephedra products as "street drug" alternatives
  2. A ban on the sale of Ephedra products to children under 18 years of age
  3. A ban on the sale of supplements containing synthetic ephedrine alkaloids
  4. Adoption of stringent Good Manufacturing Practices for all dietary supplement manufacturers -- including batch testing.
  5. A mandatory warning label
  6. Adoption of science-based serving limits to ensure safe use of Ephedra products
  7. Creation of a new mandatory industry wide reporting system.

"We have very strong science -- more than 30 studies and reports -- demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of these products. The recent study published in the prestigious International Journal of Obesity by researchers at Columbia University and Harvard Medical College underscore the point that Ephedra does help people lose weight without any significant adverse effects," Davis concluded.

George A. Bray, M.D., Boyd Professor and Professor of Medicine at Louisiana State University, a leading authority on obesity and weight management, said, "Obesity has reached epidemic levels. Too many adults are consuming too many calories and getting far too little physical activity. Making changes in diet and lifestyle are difficult. For adults, diet supplement products that contain Ephedra are safe and effective, if patients follow package labeling instructions and speak to their physician or health care provider prior to use. These products when used carefully can help patients lose weight.

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