December 20, 2011 — A shipment of ephedra worth more than $70,000 was seized by the U.S. Marshals, at the request of the FDA, in Rancho Dominguez, CA. The FDA announced the seizure in a press release. The shipping drums contained no labels to indicate that they contained ephedrine alkaloids, but chemical testing revealed the presence of the illegal chemicals. Ephedra was once an extremely popular dietary supplement, until the FDA banned its sale and use in the U.S. because it has serious adverse effects on a person’s cardiovascular system, and could cause death.
Officials seized over 4,000 pounds of raw material of cissus quadrangularis and Cassia angustifolia extracts, the plants from which ephedrine alkaloids are derived. The FDA could not provide information on the country of origin because the investigation is ongoing.
The products were being imported by Infinity Marketing Group, Inc (not Infiniti Marketing Group with an “i”, another California-based dietary supplement company). Three federal agencies (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Drug Enforcement Administration) work together to prevent illegal substances from entering the U.S. marketplace. A spokesperson for the FDA said, “We will continue to take enforcement action that prevents potentially harmful products from reaching consumers and endangering their health.”
What is ephedrine and why is it banned?
Ephedrine alkaloids are a large group of pharmacological compounds called “sympathomimetrics,” which are adrenaline-like stimulants. The FDA banned the sale of ephedra in dietary supplements in 2004 because it has been linked to heart attacks, stroke, and death, and does not provide any significant health benefit to outweigh the serious side effects. Before 2004, the products were very popular in dietary supplements used for weight loss, improving sports performance, and energy. Subsequent research found that the products raised blood pressure, stressed the cardiovascular system, and could cause death.
How do I contact a Lawyer for a Dietary Supplement Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Dietary Supplement induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has experienced a side effect after taking a dietary supplement, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Dietary Supplement Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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