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New York Becomes 2nd State to Ban Ephedra

Nov 4, 2003 | New York has become the second state to ban over-the-counter sales of the controversial herbal supplement ephedra.

Gov. George Pataki on Monday signed the new law, which calls for fines of up to $500 for each sale of the supplement. Ephedra's prescription sales are not affected by the law, WCBS Radio reports.

Illinois has already banned the substance, which is used to lose weight and enhance athletic performance. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska and New Jersey are considering similar bans.

Manufacturers say ephedra is safe when used correctly.

Ephedra use has been tied to numerous deaths, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In February, Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died of heatstroke during spring training. The medical examiner said ephedra contributed to his heatstroke. Bechler was 23

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