Davis Signs Bills To Ban Ephedra Sales to Minors, Require Dietary Supplement Warning Labels
Gov. Gray Davis (D) signed two bills on Friday related to the sale of the weight-loss dietary supplement ephedra, the Sacramento Bee reports. The first bill (SB 1884), sponsored by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), bans the sale of ephedra to individuals younger than age 18 and requires ephedra manufacturers to include on the label of their products the federal toll-free number to report health problems associated with the supplement. The second bill (SB 1948), sponsored by Sen. Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont), requires dietary supplement manufacturers to place warning labels on their products. In 2000, Davis vetoed legislation that would have required "strong warning labels" on ephedra products and said that the federal government should take action to regulate the supplement. In August, Davis told the FDA that he would sign ephedra regulations into law "absent significant immediate action by the federal government." After he signed the bills, which take effect Jan. 1, Davis said, "Californians can't wait for federal action that is long overdue" (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 9/28). The FDA has received reports of 100 deaths associated with ephedra. In addition, the Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether San Diego-based ephedra manufacturer Metabolife International made false statements to the FDA about the safety of the supplement (AP/Fresno Bee, 9/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.