Letter from More than 20 Physicians to HHS Secretary Urges Continued Ephedra Sales, Federal Labeling Standards
WASHINGTON (Jan. 30, 2003) – More than 20 board-certified physicians have announced their support of Ephedra dietary supplements. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson released today, the physicians call for the continued sale of legal Ephedra supplements, and for federal labeling standards.
Noting that obesity has been declared a national epidemic by the Surgeon General, the common letter sent by each of the physicians says, “Ephedra is one of the few options available to my patients who need to lose weight and who have been unsuccessful in doing so through exercise and diet alone.”
The physicians cited their patients’ struggles with obesity and their need for continued access to safe and beneficial Ephedra products. The specialists said that review of current scientific data, including the often-noted Harvard/Columbia clinical study, combined with their own patient observations, lead them to conclude that Ephedra supplements are safe and beneficial when used according to industry or physician recommendations.
As the letter says, “I have seen positive and sometimes dramatic effects in my patients” who have taken Ephedra, adding, “In addition to witnessing successful, long-term weight loss…I have seen their overall health improve, as measured by healthier cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.”
The letter urges continued availability of the products, but with appropriate label instructions. “Prohibiting the sale of legally marketed Ephedra products would have a negative impact on public health, and on the personal health of my patients. I urge you to support product labeling initiatives that specify serving limits and direct certain consumers to consult with health professionals before taking Ephedra.”
The letter concludes, “I applaud your efforts to prevent marketers from advertising and selling illegal and harmful Ephedra products, such as Yellow Jacket and herbal XTC, as alternatives to street drugs.”
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.