General Merchandise/HBC

Judge Nixes FDA Ephedra Ban

Ruling Sends matter back for further rulemaking consistent with the court's opinion

SALT LAKE CITY --A federal judge Thursday struck down the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ban on ephedra, the once-popular weight-loss aid that was taken off the market after it was linked to dozens of deaths, said an Associated Press report.

The judge ruled in favor of a Utah company that challenged the FDA's ban. Park City, Utah-based Nutraceutical Corp. claimed in its lawsuit that ephedra "has been safely consumed" for hundreds of years.

As reported in CSP Daily News, supplements that included ephedra have been widely [image-nocss] used for weight loss and bodybuilding, but have linked to 155 deaths, including that of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler. The FDA ordered the substance off the market in April 2004.

Judge Tena Campbell's ruling sends the matter back to the FDA "for further rulemaking consistent with the court's opinion" and keeps the agency from enforcement action against the companies.

FDA officials did not immediately return a call from the AP seeking comment.

Company president Bruce Hough said the decision is about "protecting the public's access to safe and effective dietary supplements."

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