November 23, 1999

2 Min Read
New York City Ephedra Meeting Postponed

NEW YORK--The city council of New York City postponed a hearing it was to have held yesterday to decide if the City administrative code should be amended to restrict the sale of ephedrine. The Council was concerned that laws relating to dietary supplements are lacking in protections for consumers. The Council was to determine if warning labels would be required by means of store signage, and if ephedrine, or ma huang, a stimulant, should be sold at all within city limits.

The Council suggested this wording in its initial statement: "No person shall sell any dietary supplement that contains any quantity of ephedrine, ephedra or ma huang to any individual under 18 years of age." In addition, it suggested this verbiage in amending the code: "No person shall sell any dietary supplement that contains any quantity of ephedrine, ephedra or ma huang, the packing, labeling or name of which states, implies or claims that such product produces such effects or sensations as euphoria, ecstasy, `highs' or other similar effects or sensations."

"What they were asking for with ephedra, we have already established as industry guidelines, except for the issue of signage," said Mike McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). AHPA was initially asked by the City of New York to attend the meeting. "We would take the position that says that the signage requiement would be an inappropriate burden to place on a retailer and is not consistent with any other consumer communication for these kinds of products," said McGuffin. "AHPA supports the city's labeling recommendations--`not for use by persons under the age of 18'--and we support their restraint from trade of ephedra products as euphorics or substitutes of street drugs."

At this point, McGuffin reported that AHPA will contact the people who raised the concerns, which he noted weren't totally illegitimate, and it will try to educate them on the steps already taken by the industry.

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