Teen Herbicide

?It kind of makes our war on drugs look like a joke,? says Kevin
Riggins, the father of Sean Riggins, a 16-year-old Illinois
football player who died of heart failure after taking an ephedra
supplement. ?They say marijuana is a gateway drug, and the most
horrible thing on the planet, but we let this other stuff out there
that?s killing people.? Chris Mooney writes on
MotherJones.com that although the natural stimulant
ephedra is ?clearly the most dangerous,? it?s just one of many
unregulated dietary supplements currently being marketed to teens
wanting to improve their sports performance, or simply trying to be
thin and beautiful. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
(DSHEA), enacted in 1994, allows any herbal remedy, vitamin, or
supplement to be sold without first being proven safe or effective
by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA can take action only
if a supplement has already been proven dangerous, but
manufacturers aren?t even required to report adverse effects to the
FDA. ?We believe it?s a public-health crisis,? says Iris Shaffer of
the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, ?because what these
kids are doing today, we?re going to be seeing in doctors? offices
in 10 or 15 years.?
?Anne Geske

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Teen Herbicide

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