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ALBANY, NY -- On Monday, New York became the third state to ban ephedra, an herbal supplement linked to a large number of deaths. Gov. George Pataki signed the law, which takes effect immediately and includes a fine up to $500 for each sale of ephedra, according to a report in Newsday.
Prescription sales of ephedra, however, will not be affected, and manufacturers of the supplement face lawsuits and a possible ban by the Food and Drug Administration, the report stated.
Other states enforcing the ban include Illinois and California, with California's ban beginning in January. Also, Florida and New Jersey are banned from selling ephedra to minors, and broad bans are under consideration in Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey and Hawaii.
The Ephedra Education Council has said the supplement is safe when used correctly, but the group also said there is no clinical study that shows the supplement causes harm, according to the Newsday report.
In June, the federal government began building a case that could lead to banning ephedra.
The herb is marketed under brands that include Stacker 2, Stacker 3, Ripped Fuel and Xenadrine.