Here is contact info for Congrassman Sweeney. PLEASE let him know how off base he is. Facts before p[olicy would help…
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2003
CONTACT: Kevin Madden
REP. SWEENEY TARGETS EPHEDRA WITH NEW
DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS LEGISLATION
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.