The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a consumer alert on the safety of dietary supplements containing ephedra and has notified manufacturers of its intent to publish a final rule on dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids.
The rule would have the effect of banning the sale of dietary supplements containing ephedrine alkaloids when it becomes effective, 60 days following publication. Only the selling and distribution will become illegal, not the possession.
In conjunction with FDA's actions to date, classes of ephedra products have already been removed from the market (for example, many products marketed for enhancing sports performance), the demand for ephedra products has declined significantly, and many companies have already ceased marketing.
Source: United States Department Of Health & Human Services
California Bans the distribution of Ephedra
Not wanting to wait for a federal ban, some U.S. states (California, New York, Illinois) already have outlawed ephedra. The legislation becomes effective on January 1st 2004.
Source: National Products Industry Insider