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State Senate Bans Ephedra

The California Senate has voted to outlaw ephedra, the dietary supplement that contributed to the heatstroke death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler. Bechler died February 17th after taking ephedra to lose weight at the start of spring training.

The Food and Drug Administration says at least 100 deaths have been linked to the supplement, which is available without a prescription. The National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association and International Olympic Committee bar the use of ephedra. Major League Baseball recently banned its use by minor league players, and the players association has urged major leaguers not to use the drug.

California law already bans the sale of ephedra to minors and requires warning labels on bottles sold to adults. Today´s 24-14 vote sent the bill to the state Assembly.