T Nation

Congress and Ephedra


#1

Let's face it. Sometime this year the U.S. Congress is going to take up the issue of making ephedra illegal, and it's going to happen unless we plan our defense now.

Congress is basically ignorant. Although 0.00005% of the population (or less) die from ephedra ABUSE, people are dying and Congressmen can gain points in the media and with a few constituents by doing something about it. And they will! So let's brainstorm some ideas now so we're prepared to defend the supplements.

Here's a few ideas to get started.

1) Congress is not interested in facts as much as they are in public image. Maybe we can get some people to demonstrate how they responsibly used ephedra to lose 100 lbs of fat. Ephedra can be safely used to fight the obesity epidemic!

2) Maybe supplements with a high possibility of abuse can be regulated without making them prescription items. Is there a way to introduce a new category of supplements somewhere between off-the-shelf and prescription? (I know there are some that are kept locked up in the health stores.) Perhaps ephedra can be obtained only from a "certified nutritionist"? This way Congress has something they can regulate; they'll love that.

3) Can some major health and body building organizations start encouraging members to vote against the Congressmen who make ephedra illegal? Congressmen hate public campaigns against them.

4) Should we start a letter writing campaign now to our Congressmen? (Nowadays, postcards might be best.) We should be sure to mention we think the issue is important enough to swing our vote in the next election.

OK, any other ideas out there?


#2

The only way of changing congress's mind on something is through donating to their campaign funds. It's the supplement companies which need to pay lobbyists just like any other industry. The problem is that the supplement industry isn't well orgainized enough to be effective. Short of armed revolt, congress will tell simply us to fuck off as usual. However you're right, the only real way to stop something as stupid as this from happening is to spead the word to semi-brains of the mindless masses.


#3

I have a few ideas.

1) Write or call your legislator. Stress that your vote counts and that you will not vote for anyone sponsoring legislation banning ephedra.
2) Start calling and emailing companies that sell ehpedra products. These companies need to be more proactive in protecting ephedra. These supplement companies need to join together to make a commercial explaining that ephedra is safe when used properly. I can't believe these cheap ass supplement companies are not doing anything to protect one of their best money makers. A perfect time to run a pro ephedra commercial would be during the super bowl.
3) Cosumers and supplement companies need to get off their respective asses and get public opinion on their side. This is a public opinion war not one of facts because obviously, if facts mattered we wouldn't even be having this conversation.


#4

The suplement companies have to organize a PAC or political action committee and purchase lobbyists and contribute. Politicians only understand money and votes, nothing else, even logic, doesn't matter to them.


#5

Kinda ironic: Congress might ban efedra, a substance that's (what i think) as dangerous as caffeine. Most of the sane people who take it are b/c they are healthy and want to loose more weight or perform better. more power to those people i say !.. if anything needs to be banned, it's foods high in saturated fats. that kills more people than anything else. If i could, i'd ban a lot of things, starting off with spandex on fat chicks !!...


#6

I don't know about you..but I'm stockpiling my ephedra now...


#7

Just an FYI for you guys, up here in Canada it's happening! Health Canada just issued a voluntary recall of certain ephedra/ephedrine products (see http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/protection/warnings/2002/2002_01e.htm). Their criteria for recalling products are:

"Ephedra/ephedrine products having a dose unit of more than 8 mg of ephedrine or with a label recommending more than 8 mg/dose or 32 mg/day and/or are labelled or implied for use exceeding seven days;

all combination products containing Ephedra/ephedrine together with stimulants (e.g. caffeine) and other ingredients which might increase the effect of Ephedra/ephedrine in the body. A full table of ingredients containing caffeine is attached to this advisory;

Ephedra/ephedrine products with labelled or implied claims for appetite suppression, weight loss promotion, metabolic enhancement, increased exercise tolerance, body-building effects, euphoria, increased energy or wakefulness, or other stimulant effects."

While they are calling this recall voluntary, they state they have "issued a Customs Lookout for the products in question to ensure that they are stopped at the border and not imported into Canada." So much for voluntary!

I also love their listing of side effects: "Adverse effects of ephedrine can include dizziness, headache, decreased appetite, anxiety, restlessness or nervousness, gastrointestinal distress, irregular heartbeat, tachycardia, insomnia, flushing, sweating, hypertension, stroke, seizures, psychosis and death."

How's that for scare mongering.

Take it easy


#8

I have refined my argument against banning ephedra and that is that it helps weed out morons from our gene pool before they become too prevalent. Ephedra kills abusers not users and should be accesible as long as controls on its quality and labeling exist. This whole issue sucks because it does matter who is right just how ignorant the general public is.


#9

OJ: If your ex wife's sister were to dye her hair blonde, would you attempt to decapitate her as well? Just a tad curious. GO JUICE GO!!

(i suggest you ignore jim as he's just had his first simple sugars of the day)
(i will eat his brain later)