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Fda Bans Ephedra . . . For Now


The Food and Drug Administration annouced today that it will ban ephedra, a popular dietary supplement used for weight-loss due to health and safety concerns. It is almost certain the ban will be challenged in court, where there is a decent chance the FDA will lose. Whereas drugs and medicines are presumptively banned unless proven safe, the law on dietary supplements puts the burden on the FDA to demonstrate they are unsafe. In the case of ephedra, there is evidence of significant side-effects, but the data on more serious health risks are far from conclusive (as this study on the FDA’s website makes clear).


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