Just days after the death of a Baltimore Orioles prospect, a California state senator vowed Thursday to quickly introduce a bill that would ban state sales of the dietary supplement ephedra, which is suspected of contributing to the 23-year-old pitcher’s demise.
Sen. Jackie Speier, who last year championed a bill that banned state sales of ephedra to minors, vowed to take the issue one step further this year.
“How many more people have to die before we decide that ephedra poses an unacceptable risk to the public?” the San Mateo Democrat said in announcing her measure. “Tell me how many deaths caused by ephedra are acceptable?”
The attempt to ban the sale of dietary supplements that contain ephedra follows Monday’s death of Steve Bechler, a young pitcher who collapsed during spring training in Florida and later died after suffering from severe heatstroke.
A weight-loss supplement was found in Bechler’s locker, and the preliminary coroner’s report suggested that ephedra may have played a role in his death, though it’s still being determined whether Bechler had ephedra in his system.
Ephedra supporters maintain that the herbal supplements are safe when properly used.