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In Brief: Ephedra defended

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Ephedra defended: "Recent attacks on ephedra...Are they motivated by medical science or political hype?" a full-page ad in the Sept. 27 issue of USA Today asks. The ad criticizes FDA and the Texas Health Department for their actions regarding the herb, stating that they "purposefully ignore" the "wide body" of scientific literature and "extensive" studies supporting ephedra's safety. The ad was paid for by the "Ad Hoc Committee on the Safety of Ma Huang." The committee's membership is not disclosed in the ad. The committee spokesperson is Bill Appler, a Washington, D.C.-based consultant. The ad was run in spite of opposition from industry groups including the National Nutritional Foods Association...

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