Baltimore Pitcher Steve Bechler’s Toxicology Report Prompts Industry Call For Science-Based Ephedra Regulations

Statement from the Ephedra Education Council

WASHINGTON (March 13, 2003) – In response to the planned release of the toxicology report on Baltimore Orioles Pitcher Steve Bechler’s consumption of Ephedra, Wes Siegner, general counsel of the Ephedra Education Council, today issued this statement:

“In the case of Steve Bechler, sports nutrition experts agree that there are important lessons to be learned concerning proper training and screening of athletes. But they also agree that the rush to blame Ephedra was not science-based. Health policy concerning Ephedra should be based on scientific evidence. The current science supports the safety and significant weight loss benefits of Ephedra when it is used according to industry standards."

“The Rand report confirms that more than 55 clinical studies support the safety and benefits of the Ephedra/caffeine combination, when taken as directed by overweight, but otherwise healthy individuals. Recently announced efforts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate Ephedra should consider these studies in the agency’s final rulemaking decision. Furthermore, FDA should also ban irresponsible marketing practices, a complete ban on use by minors, mandatory strict science-based serving recommendations and medical condition warnings for the labels of all Ephedra products."

“In the past, the industry has expressed its support for sports leagues that choose to prohibit the use of Ephedra. The industry also supported the recent FDA action to remove from the market Ephedra products that make unsubstantiated claims of enhancing athletic performance. Professional athletes are often under great pressure to perform. These athletes should avoid, and if necessary be protected from, the temptation to misuse Ephedra products that are otherwise widely and safely used to the benefit of American consumers."

“The Ephedra industry continues to call upon the Food and Drug Administration to adopt science-based regulations for Ephedra dietary supplement products. The industry is committed to working with FDA on appropriate measures that guarantee continued access for the millions of responsible adult Americans who consume these products every day for safe and effective weight loss.”


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

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