Taking a Closer Look at Certain Banned Substances

Early on after America was established and became a more commercialized affair, certain problems began to arise. Potentially dangerous substances were marketed as medications. Devices were created and placed inside people in the name of medicine without proper testing and regulation. Food packaging and distribution companies began placing harmful additives into their products to make them last longer and stretch farther.

Over time, the government stepped in and formed the FDA in 1906 to help mitigate these problems. While this administration is credited with saving hundreds of thousands of lives through its regulatory actions, some of its decisions have created their fair shares of controversy.

Ephedra for Weight Loss

Ephedra has been in use for more than 2,000 years in numerous medical applications. Eventually, it emerged as one of the few truly effective weight loss agents available in over-the-counter form. As is the case with many medications, though, people began to abuse this supplement. Despite thousands of weight loss success stories, the FDA decided in 2003 to ban the herb due to a few reports of adverse reactions.

Ephedra Derivatives for Asthma

Albuterol inhalers are typically prescribed asthma sufferers at a cost of anywhere from $50 to more than $300 even though other countries offer it for as little as $6 with no prescription needed. For many, an over-the-counter inhaler containing ephedra was the only affordable alternative. Since this product contained ephedra and slightly too many CFCs for the FDA’s liking, it, too, was taken off the market. While variations of the medication remain available in pill form under strict sales regulations, they’re not as quick to take effect as the inhaled version.


Yet another herbal supplement having been in use for thousands of years, kratom can be a powerful and effective painkiller when used correctly. It has even been said to help some people wean themselves off harmful street drugs and prescription pain medications. Regardless, the FDA is currently attempting to ban its use due to vague reports of negative reactions often linked to additional medications rather than kratom alone.

No one is arguing measures need to be taken to help protect the public. Still, many insist the FDA needs to take more factors into account than it does at present before banning certain products. Doing so may help reduce some of the financial burden on Americans and promote well-being instead of creating dangerous situations for those who follow directions carefully.

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