NY County Bans Ephedra Sales

All dietary supplements containing the herb ephedra can no longer be sold in one New York county.

The Suffolk County executive signed the bill into law Wednesday. He calls it the first such legislation in the nation.

The amphetamine-like stimulant is commonly used for weight loss and body building. The Food and Drug Administration has reports of 100 deaths among ephedra users. Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler recently died while using ephedra.

The Bush administration has announced that every bottle of ephedra soon must carry warnings that the herb can cause heart attacks, strokes or death. Ephedra is banned by the N-F-L, the N-C-A-A and the International Olympic Committee. After Bechler's death, Major League Baseball banned its use by players with minor league contracts.