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Councilwoman Bentley proposes ban on sale of ephedra to minors

Monday May 12, 2003

Media Release

For Immediate Release

For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin

502.574.4137

Patrick H. Neely
502.574.1351

The sale of diet supplement ephedra, and products containing the herbal supplement, would be banned to people under the age of 18, under an ordinance proposed by First District Councilwoman Denise Bentley.

Councilwoman Bentley will introduce the ordinance at Thursday’s Louisville Metro Council meeting.

The ordinance notes that several deaths, illnesses and complications nationwide have been attributed to the use of products containing ephedra. The supplement gained notoriety with the recent spring training death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler, which is believed to be related to the pitcher’s use of an ephedra-based diet pill.

Between 2000 and 2002, the Kentucky Regional Poison Center received reports of at least 108 cases related to the use of ephedra, or products containing ephedra, in Jefferson County. Athletic organizations, including the National Football League, International Olympic Committee and National Collegiate Athletic Association have banned the use of the supplement by athletes.

The proposal makes it a class B misdemeanor to anyone who intentionally sells the product to a minor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $250 fine.

Sponsor(s)

Denise Bentley (D)  1