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 May 13, 2005
Judge Strikes Down FDA Ban on Ephedra
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's year-old ban on the once-popular diet aid ephedra has been struck down by a federal judge, the Associated Press reported Thursday afternoon.

The agency banned the amphetamine-like herbal substance in April 2004 after finding it had been linked to dozens of deaths from heat stroke and other causes.

Judge Tena Campbell's ruling, written Wednesday but released a day later, was in favor of a Utah firm that had challenged the ban's legality. The company, Nurtraceutical, had claimed that ephedra "had been safely consumed for hundreds of years," the wire service reported.

Ephedra-based supplements have been linked to at least 155 deaths, including that of Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler in 2003.

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 companies that sell ephedra-based products, the AP reported.


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