Friday, March 14, 2003

The New Crisis

Nearly 100 deaths have been attributed to the dietary supplement ephedra. The International Olympic Committee, National Football League and National Collegiate Athletic Association have banned its use and the American Medical Association has advised people not to use it. Ephedra-containing products made up less than 1 percent of herbal supplement sales in the United States in 2001, but accounted for 62 percent of all herbal-related reports of adverse effects reported to poison control centers nationwide. Researchers have calculated that the use of ephedra poses a risk 200 times greater than the risks posed by all other herbal supplements combined.

That is part of the news release by Iowa State University this month. You can still buy Ephedra in stores across the United States. Okay, now you undoubtedly are saying “Trent Loos, what does this have to do with me?” At the Meat Conference in Atlanta I learned that 93% of all Americans have seen, heard or read about “Mad Cow” the CRISIS. 93% that is unprecedented, actually it was said to rival only Monica Lewinsky in media attention. My point vCJD (mad cow) has claimed 132 lives, so where is the “crisis” for this dietary supplement?

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