T Nation

Rep Sweeney

Here is contact info for Congrassman Sweeney. PLEASE let him know how off base he is. Facts before p[olicy would help…

February 20, 2003
CONTACT: Kevin Madden
(202) 225-5614

New York lawmaker calls for immediate suspension of over-the-counter sales

Washington- Representative John E. Sweeney (R-NY) today announced plans to introduce strict new regulations on ephedra in the wake of yet another athlete’s death whose cause may have been attributed by medical authorities to the dangerous weight-loss supplement.

A coroner cited ephedra this week as a possible cause in the tragic death of 23-year-old Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler. The coroner who conducted the autopsy of Bechler-Dr. Joshua Perper-even commented that no athlete should take ephedra, while calling Bechler’s case a “preventable death.”

Ephedra is currently classified under the Dietary Supplement Act of 1994 in such a way that makes it easy to evade more restrictive FDA regulations.

The 1994 legislation altered the pre-market approval process for dietary supplements so the burden of proof-with regards to the ephedra’s safety-is placed on government regulators, rather than the manufacturer.

According to Sweeney, the designation needs to be changed, and Major League Baseball must own up to the fact that it must deal with a problem it has long ignored.

“We should suspend all sales of ephedra until we have hearings and view evidence with regards to the immediate safety risk involved with its use,” said Sweeney.

“Baseball has nowhere to hide anymore,” said Sweeney. “This was a preventable death. This is a dangerous substance and it shouldn’t be available over the counter. How many young men have to die before someone wises up and bans this junk? Here is baseball’s moment to make a bold statement. The Major Leagues should ban its use in baseball and I’ll make sure Congress ends its sale over the counter.”

Sweeney is also the co-sponsor of legislation amending the Controlled Substance Act to restrict the dangerous use of anabolic steroid “precursors” that are marketed to American consumers as quick muscle builders and performance enhancers.

The bill, H.R. 207, was introduced with the support of the National Football League (NFL), the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), all of which currently support a ban on the use of ephedra.

The problem with all of the thermogenics is that they’re used by fatties in place of a good, solid diet.

People go from a winter of eating cake, cookies, ice cream and fast food in huge amounts, and then try to lose the fat by starving themselves and swallowing 6 or more Hydroxycut capsules a day.

It’s typical American instant results/instant gratification. And the bullshit before and after pics don’t help as the average consumer of thermogenic products actually believes the ridiculous advertising.

So is a bill banning the over-the-counter sale of products containing ephedra really necessary? Unfortunately, because of the irresponsible way many are using these products, I’m starting to become a believer in Big Government on this issue.

Don’t ever side with those bastards. Today, ephedra. Tomorrow the world. It is not about health. It is about power and control. Of and over you!!!

IT would be interesting to point out to these idiots that Ephedra has saved countless lives by helping overweight people lose weight thereby preventing heart attacks and other weight related disease.

I am sure an underemployed MD could do the statistical analysis for a reasonable fee provided by an ephedra producer. Just a thought. It’s all politics and policy is made by lobbyists. Trust me I’ve worked with plenty of them.

Fax your passionate, but well-thought out “thoughts” on his proposed ban. His fax # is 202-225-6234

Great post, dkalman! As you saw, I addressed the subject in another thread, too. Didn’t mean to copy you, or steal your thunder, but the more attention we bring to this, the better. It’d be a shame to have ephedra no longer available before people get off their asses and take some action!

Best quote of the day was in today’s usatoday.com’s article (which also slams ephedra). Check it out:

Orioles designated hitter David Segui says “there’s almost a witch hunt going on” in the aftermath of Bechler’s death. “It hasn’t been proven that ephedrine caused his death. There was probably some milk found in his system, too. Did that cause his death?” Right on Segui!

Unfortunately, there were other quotes like:

But for Orioles pitcher Matt Riley, who lost a friend, the case is clear: Baseball must ban ephedrine.

“I hope so,” he says. “I hope it doesn’t take another death for them to realize the magnitude of this. If they could feel what I’m feeling, they’d know how much it means to get ephedra out of baseball. Football smarted up and got it out. … We don’t need any more casualties. One’s enough.”

I truly understand the pain he must be going through, but at the same time, let’s try to keep a level head and be logical.

So Goldberg, you just called him? What did he say?

Hedo, ephedra has saved lives? By helping people lose weight that would have otherwise had heart attacks? C’mon, my man, please. You’d be just as effective losing weight by disciplining yourself to eat properly. Thermogenics aren’t absolutely necessary for obese people to lose weight. And I don’t agree that ephedra has saved lives.

They didnt say anything. I called and left a message and they didnt call me back.