Is Politics Behind the Epheda Ban?

Source: Ben Kennedy, author of 'Why is America So Fat?'

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Apr 27, 2004 -- On April 12, 2004, all Ephedra products were banned by the FDA. Or were they? According to the FDA, Ephedra presents an unreasonable risk of illness or injury however the exact same ingredient is found in many common over-the-counter cold, flu and asthma medications readily available at drug and grocery stores. According to author Ben Kennedy the exclusion of such products by the FDA is proof that the Ephedra ban was political and has nothing to do with the safety of Ephedra.

In his recently released book "Why is America So Fat?" Mr. Kennedy explains why only some Ephedra products were banned while others remain on the market in spite of the supposed ban. The evidence as presented by Mr. Kennedy is simple to understand and compelling. Mr. Kennedy shows examples of the products banned by the FDA as well as examples of those that remain on the market. He shows how the label listing of Ephedra is identical in both banned and non-banned products. The only explanation, according to Mr. Kennedy, is that the FDA was politically influenced by the manufacturers of the protected products to eliminate their competitors' products.

With obesity a major problem in the United States (estimates of 40% of the population being obese by 2008), it is critical that banning Ephedra weight- loss products be based on science and not on politics. The question that the FDA needs to answer is why were only some Ephedra products, especially the Ephedra weight-loss products, banned while other Ephedra products are allowed to remain on the market. If Ephedra is as dangerous as the FDA claims then they should require the removal of every product that contains Ephedra. Mr. Kennedy shows how this has not happened and includes some startling pictures of excluded Ephedra products designed for infants with pictures of little babies right on the labels. Somehow these Ephedra products escaped the FDA's ban. What else can explain the FDA's bias than politics?

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