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MA. Legislature Seeks to Ban Sale of Ephedra

Feb 20, 2003 | AP

A bill filed today in the Legislature asks the state to ban the sale of the dietary supplement Ephedra.

The supplement, which is the herbal form of the over-the-counter stimulant ephedrine, is often used to increase endurance and lose weight. It has been linked to the heatstroke death of a Baltimore Orioles pitcher earlier this week.

State Senator Richard Moore, an Uxbridge Democrat, says there's too much circumstantial evidence suggesting that Ephedra can be harmful.

Reports linking it to heart attacks, strokes, and heatstroke prompted the state Department of Public Health to issue a warning about its use in 1996.

The National Football League banned ephedrine in 2001, citing concerns that the stimulant could interfere with the body's ability to regulate heat. The drug also is banned by the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee, but not by major league baseball.

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