Judge Strikes Down Ban

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — In mid-April a federal judge struck down a ban on ephedra, but that doesn't exactly mean you can start stocking your facility's shelves with the supplement just yet.

In a somewhat confusing decision, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ruled that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) had failed to prove that ephedra was dangerous in doses of 10 milligrams or lower. According to the National Nutritional Foods Association, the court decision leaves room for interpretation and an appeal by the FDA is anticipated.

The ban on ephedra products of more than 10 milligrams per dose is still in effect and the ruling applies only to areas within Utah's Central Division district court jurisdiction. The FDA may challenge sales outside of that jurisdiction.

Nutraceutical Corp and Solray Inc. of Park City, UT, both nutritional supplement manufacturers, brought the lawsuit against the ban, which was initiated in February 2004 after 155 deaths were linked to possible ephedra use. During that time an estimated 12 million to 17 million Americans ingested three billion doses of ephedra.

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