To: IAHF List
Subject: Lawmaker Threatens Tougher Ephedra Regulation
Date: 23 Jul 2003 19:21:04 -0000
IAHF List: I am monitoring the webcast of the hearing discussed in this Reuters news article (below my comments) and note that the hearing is still underway. This article was sent out over the Reuters newswire before the hearing could even remotely conclude, it was sent out after only the first panel of speakers (all attacking supplements) was heard, and the second panel, which includes representatives of the supplement industry, haven't yet even had their chance to speak.
So much for honesty in the mainstream press- their agenda is clear, painfully clear. A global witch hunt against dietary supplements is clearly ensuing. I urge you to tune in this webcast which is going to resume shortly, its now 3:15 pm east coast US time, and you can tune this in on the web at http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Hearings/07232003hearing1021/hearing.htm#Witness and watch the witch hunt yourself.
If you want to stop the global screwing, the most effective way is to donate to the ANH lawsuit to overturn the EU Food supplement directive which threatens to have huge global implications. For more details see my article at http://www.iahf.com/anh_lawsuit.html and please forward this alert to more people. S.722, HR 1075, and HR 5564 could start to move as a result of this hearing. All must be opposed. Thus far, none has much support. Lets hope it stays that way.
Lawmaker Threatens Tougher Ephedra Regulation
Wed July 23, 2003 11:59 AM ET
By Lisa Richwine
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ephedra makers came under attack in Congress on Wednesday with a prominent lawmaker calling their conduct unacceptable and threatening tougher regulation of the dietary supplement, which has been linked to side effects that include heart attack and stroke.
"If they don't clean up their act, I can promise you we will do it for them," Rep. Billy Tauzin, a Louisiana Republican, told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. Tauzin chairs the full committee.
"We've learned that these ephedra supplement makers have been engaged in some highly questionable behavior, from producing products without any safety testing to promoting safety and efficacy based on dubious industry-sponsored studies," Tauzin said.
Government officials have warned consumers not to take the stimulant and proposed a warning label for ephedra products that mentions heart attack and death as possible side effects.
Consumer groups say ephedra is too dangerous and have called for a ban.
Ephedra makers insist the product is safe when taken as directed; but one manufacturer, privately-held Metabolife International, said in a statement that it supports the proposed warning label.
"Supplements containing ephedra are not for everyone," the company said. It noted that its product, Metabolife 356, comes with a warning that advises people with health problems such as heart disease to consult a doctor before use.
Metabolife said ephedra has helped many people battle obesity, a major U.S. health problem.
"Millions of consumers throughout the United States use ephedra dietary supplements as safe, inexpensive and effective means by which to support weight loss," the company said.
"To our knowledge, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that ephedra supplements are unsafe when taken as directed," the firm added.
The investigations subcommittee subpoenaed two former Metabolife executives and one current employee after they declined to appear voluntarily at the hearing.
Rep. Jim Greenwood, a Pennsylvania Republican and chairman of the investigations panel, said the three witnesses were expected to assert their constitutional right against self-incrimination and not testify.
But Metabolife Chief Executive Russell Schreck was scheduled to testify voluntarily.
A RAND Corp. study released by U.S. health officials in February said ephedra was associated with higher risks of mild to moderate side effects such as heart palpitations, tremor and insomnia, especially when taken with other stimulants.
The review of 16,000 adverse events also found two deaths, four heart attacks and nine strokes involving ephedra in which no other contributing factors were identified.
The National Football League, the International Olympic Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association have banned ephedra use among their athletes.
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062 USA