Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Barbara Holzer, Broadcast Manager
w. (202) 588-7716
bholzer@citizen.org

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779
kgower@citizen.org

Symone Sanders, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch division
w. (202) 454-5108
ssanders@citizen.org

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog
Facebook/publiccitizen

Follow us on Twitter

 

Dec. 30, 2003

Ephedra Ban Comes Too Late; FDA Should Have Acted Much Sooner

Statement of Dr. Sidney Wolfe, Director of Public Citizen's Health Research Group

Today's announcement by the FDA to ban the dietary supplement ephedra, which comes more than two years after we petitioned the agency to do so, shows the dangerous cowardice of FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, who waited to act until receiving reports of more than 155 deaths of ephedra users instead of acting much earlier. All the scientific evidence and legal authority to ban ephedra was in place at the time of our petition, which we filed in September 2001. One reason major manufacturers have stopped selling ephedra is that the companies have become uninsurable because of massive losses in product liability cases. Several weeks ago, the last major manufacturer of ephedra dietary supplements - Metabolife - announced that it would no longer sell ephedra. When we filed our petition, there were reports of 81 ephedra-related deaths. Now, after that number has nearly doubled and very little ephedra is being manufactured, the FDA finally announces a ban. This is an inexcusable dereliction of responsibility by an agency that has acted more like an ephedra sales extension agency than the public health agency it is supposed to be.

###

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.