The Foods and Drugs Administration’s exclusive probation on Ephedra or Ephedrine
alkaloids containing dietary Supplements in all forms was over ruled by an Utah Court of
the United States on 04/18/2005 in favor of its plaintiff Nutraceutical Corporation and Ephedra
ban was lifted allowing the company to resume its sales of dietary supplements containing
up to 10mg of the naturally produced stimulator per daily dosage, as quoted by Jess Halliday.
The Judge Tena Campbell at the US District Court of Utah has very recently passed an order
directing the US FDA to carry out a dose- dependent study of poison and enforce the ban only
on the herbal’s use – at and above – the level at which it is found to
product toxicity. At this point of time there is no question that the restriction is ruled
out as quoted by Jonathan Emord, the counsel for Nutraceutical Corporation told NutraIngredients-USA.com.
In addition to the above verdict the government agencies are also directed not to take
any regulatory actions in restricting Nutraceutical from selling any supplement preparations
that contain up to 10 mg of Ephedrine Alkaloids per daily dose. Until this proposition gets
final clearance from the Learned Court the company will enjoy its advantage as quoted by
the Company President Bruce Hough. He also further declared that Neutraceutical has not yet
discussed regarding the re-introduction of any Ephedra products.
Ephedrine HCl is not banned
After the US FDA ban on Ephedra, drugs were blotted out of the US market, but within 12
months of its ruling out the product captured the market again. However Neutraceutical has
determined to re-introduce the product after wiping off its ingredient resources. Neutraceutical
Corporation has recommended the dose thru its label claim of Solaray product as one capsule
a day twice can be taken giving the composite dose of less than 10 mg as specified in the
The US FDA enforced ban on Ephedra or Ephedrine Alkaloids based dietary supplements of
all kinds irrespective of its dosage recommendation with effect from 12th of April 2004.
The ban by the US FDA came into force based on its belief that Ephedra Alkaloids causes unreasonably
serious risk factors or injuries on the human health since they do not posses any effective
health benefits to reduce over weight but it enhances the cardiovascular disorder leading
to stroke and death.
The DSHEA defined as Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act during 1994 released
a statement that did not confirm whether any dietary supplement has any unreasonable risk,
but the US FDA drawn by the medical devices provisions of the FDCA better known as The Foods,
Drugs and Cosmetics Act that confirmed the risk factors by the dietary supplements. However,
according to the FDCA the dietary supplements are kind of foods and hence food products do
not require establishing its advantage prior to its sales. The court also pointed out at
this juncture that under the circumstances even the potato chips could be declared illegal.
The FDA thoroughly checked the scientific examination evidences and also consulted the experts
for its attitude on Ephedra; the Court determined that it did not prove of a daily dose of
up to 10mg of Ephedrine Alkaloids develops a major or dangerous risk of illness or injury
to human health. In response to this the FDA also quoted that it will most respectfully consider
all the possible options to next steps.
The FDA however, has only two options – either to accept the judgment given by the
Honorable Court and carry out testing to resolve the précised dose to which Ephedrine
Alkaloids produce toxicity and thereby enforce prohibition above that level or just exercise
its rights of appealing to Appellate Court for the Tenth Circuit. Jonathan Emord stated that
the order passed by the Honorable Court is very well reasoned and the government will face
it difficulties to act on. Simultaneously the other sectors of the industry reiterate that
the news should be received with caution.
At this juncture it requires to be noted that the ruling given by the Learned Court is
applicable to a very specific segment of the Ephedra dietary Supplement market and must not
be misunderstood as the complete ban on Ephedra on the all as quoted in the statement by
the Council for Responsible Nutrition abbreviated as CRN. It should be noted that people
may not take it to be granted thinking of an end to the ruling of the DSHEA which has always
been taken withheld as good practice.
The DSHEA regulates that the formulators should not sell dietary supplements that has noticeable
or dangerous risk factors like illness or injuries on the human health under any circumstances.
The abrupt ban on Ephedra rendered many companies losing huge amount for which they may not
be even compensated. According to the Fifth Amendment regulatory clause the government should
provide compensation while acquiring any private properties; but as stated by Jonathan Emord
the mater is highly complicated and its chance of turning positive is very less.
However, the pre ban report released by RAND Corporation clarified that the Ephedra could
have seriously caused cardiovascular disorder leading to sever heart attack or even death.
The renowned research teams also have released the similar reports indicating the use of
Ephedra increases blood pressure or damages blood circulation process which ends up to sever
cerebral and nervous system related ailments.
The herbal Ephedra based products have been reported giving short term weight loss as per
the observations of the US FDA.