FDA and the
Ephedra Hoax

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“Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you.’” [Gen. 1:29]
The LORD gave; the FDA hath taken away; cursed be the name of the FDA! [paraphrase of Job 1:21]
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates, the “father” of medicine (c. 460-375 BCE)
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” — Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

We reveal health secrets your doctor and the
government don’t want you to know about!

DISCLAIMER: Important Legal Notice

There are two dangerous lies floating across America. The second lie is, “The check’s in the mail.” The first is, “We're from the government, and we're here to help you.”

Once again the federal government has taken away one of your precious constitutional rights, pretending that it was doing so for your benefit. The truth is that ephedra-containing products are so effective that their sales were eating into the profits of the FDA bureaucrats who own large volumes of stock in the pharmaceutical industry.

Please read the truth about the FDA Ephedra Hoax, then go to the FDA’s website and confirm the source. Then, if that makes you angry enough to do something about this blatant abuse of your constitutional rights, contact your elected representatives and ask them to force the FDA to stop lying to us, do the job for which it was chartered, and stop violating your constitutional rights to provide themselves with huge financial profit!

On December 30, 2003, the FDA notified herbal product manufacturers that it intended to publish a final rule stating that dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids present an unreasonable risk of illness or injury. The rule had the effect of banning the sale of these products by herbal companies (but not by pharmaceutical companies) as soon as it became effective, 60 days after publication. That ban actually became effective on April 11, 2004.

“There have been 1,500 ‘adverse event reports’ associated with dietary supplements containing ephedra and 88 deaths, the FDA said. Problems included high blood pressure, irregularities in heart rate, nervousness, tremors, heart attacks, insomnia, headaches, seizures, strokes and death. A study of 140 adverse events reported to the FDA related to the use of products with ephedra showed that 31 percent--or 43 cases--were ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ related to the use of the supplements, the New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2000.” (Sagario, Dawn. “Possible ephedra death is significant beyond baseball.” The Des Moines Register,  February 25, 2003.)

When these events were reviewed, two things stand out: often, the products were used improperly; and rarely were the adverse events linked solely to ephedra. In most, if not all, of these cases, the person was also taking other stimulants and/or prescription medications at the same time which could have proven harmful or fatal by themselves, without the added presence of ephedra.

Many manufacturers formulate their ephedra products to include natural sources of caffeine (kola, green tea, guarana, etc.). The position of our two main suppliers (Nature’s Sunshine Products and Pure Herbs. Ltd.) has always been that caffeine should never be combined with ephedra. Some manufacturers go further and simply spike their ephedra product with caffeine. It is unfortunate that none of the “analysis” performed by these agencies has examined the difference between companies who responsibly formulate with ephedra, and those who don’t.

The report upon which the FDA decision was based includes the following statements:

The majority of case reports are insufficiently documented to make an informed judgment about a relationship between the use of ephedrine or ephedra-containing dietary supplements and the adverse event in question. For prior consumption of ephedra-containing products, we identified two deaths, three myocardial infarctions, nine cerebrovascular accidents, three seizures, and five psychiatric cases as sentinel events; for prior consumption of ephedrine, we identified three deaths, two myocardial infarctions, two cerebrovascular accidents, one seizure, and three psychiatric cases as sentinel events. We identified 43 additional cases as possible sentinel events with prior ephedra consumption and seven additional cases as possible sentinel events for prior ephedrine consumption. About half the sentinel events occurred in persons aged 30 years or younger. Classification as a sentinel event does not imply a proven cause and effect relationship.” (Shekelle P, Morton, S., Maglione M, et al. “Ephedra and Ephedrine for Weight Loss and Athletic Performance Enhancement: Clinical Efficacy and Side Effects. Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 76” [Prepared by Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center, RAND, under Contract No 290-97-0001, Task Order No. 9]. AHRQ Publication No. 03-E022. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. February 2003. (Downloaded from the FDA Website. All emphasis added. Please do the research; go here and read the Summary for yourself.)

Ignoring the findings of the report that they had commissioned which indicated that there was insufficient documentation to make an informed judgment, and that there was no proven cause and effect relationship between the “sentinel events” studied and the consumption of ephedra, the FDA arbitrarily banned the sale of ephedra-containing products by herbal product manufactures. Could it be that the ephedra-containing herbal products were eating into the profits of prescription weight-management products produced by the companies that are owned by members of the FDA? What could possibly be a more blatant conflict of interest?

Compared to a grand total of no more than five deaths that may possibly have been obliquely related to ephedra, even though there was no “proven cause and effect relationship,” about 440,000 Americans each year die from tobacco use, or about 23% of all deaths in the USA.

Additionally, “Acetaminophen [Tylenol® is one brand*] causes nearly 50 percent of all acute liver failure, four times that caused by all prescription drugs combined. Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to poison control centers (more than 100,000 per year) and accounts for more than 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations and about 450 deaths each year.” Yet as recently as May, 2009, a television commercial boasts that Tylenol® is the product most frequently recommended by physicians. Obviously there is no financial benefit to the members of the FDA to limit the sale of acetaminophen. [Read the complete article here.]

If you still don’t believe that the FDA is financially motivated, please explain why ephedra was taken off the market with no “proven cause and effect relationship” to death or illness, while cigarettes and other tobacco products are still thriving!! The tobacco industry only needs to put a “Surgeon General’s Warning” on their packaging and continue to sell their poison, but the food supplement companies cannot sell ephedra products even with an appropriate warning on the label. Can it possibly be that the tobacco companies pose no financial threat to the pharmaceutical industry? Or can it be that the pharmaceutical industry makes multiple billions of dollars each year from from the diseases the tobacco companies create??

Further, the ephedra ban only affects natural health companies, but none of the other manufacturers of ephedra-containing products. Ephedrine alkaloids include ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, methylephedrine, norephedrine, and others. Synthetic versions of these chemicals can be found in over-the-counter (OTC) products. For instance Sudafed is synthetic pseudoephedrine. Other synthetic ephedrine derivatives can be purchased at retail outlets such as gas stations. In effect, the FDA didn’t ban the active ingredients in ephedra, they just banned the nutritional supplement industry from selling the ephedra herb in competition with the pharmaceutical companies. Consumers can still obtain synthetic versions of the ephedrine alkaloids as OTC products.

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* Other brands include Tamen, Aceta, Actimin, Anacin-3, Apacet, Aspirin Free Anacin, Atasol, Banesin, Crocin, Dapa,Dolo,Datril Extra-Strength, DayQuil, Depon & Depon Maximum, Feverall, Few Drops, Fibi, Fibi plus, Genapap, Genebs, Lekadol, Liquiprin, Neopap, Oraphen-PD, Panadol, Paralen, Phenaphen, Redutemp, Snaplets-FR, Suppap, Tapanol, Tempra, Tylenol, Valorin, Xcel.
 

Bibliography: Source materials used to develop the Natural Health information on this site.


Note Well: None of the statements about natural health on this website have been submitted to, or evaluated by, either the Food and Drug Administration or the American Medical Association. All consumable products mentioned in any context on this website are intended to be used as food only, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. According to the United States government, herbs are food or flavorings and cannot be used to treat or cure diseases. If you have a health concern, please consult your health care provider. Any mention of possible “health benefits” of any product refer only to its historical use in “folk” medicine.

All information on this web site is presented for educational and/or religious purposes only, and is nothing more nor less than an expression of our religious belief that all healing is from God, that we can expect to have good health when we live a lifestyle that is in harmony with His universal laws (His Torah), and that He has provided mankind with certain foods and techniques that help the body’s natural healing processes. Regardless of the mistaken opinion of either the FDA, the AMA, or the FTC, this religious expression is specifically protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America!

Page last updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2016 10:17 PM
(Updates are generally minor formatting or editorial changes.
Major content changes after May 3, 2015 are identified as "Revisions”)