The maker of Herbal Ecstasy has agreed to include warnings on its label about potential health risks such as damage to the heart and central nervous system under a settlement announced Tuesday by the Federal Trade Commission.
The FTC had alleged that ads purchased extolling the diet supplement’s “natural high” and portraying it as a “100 percent natural and absolutely safe” diet supplement were false. The agency also alleged that a fictitious doctor was used in product ads to endorse the supplement.
According to the settlement with the stimulant’s manufacturer, Global World Media Corp., and its owner, Sean Shayan, any safety claims in all future advertisements must be supported by scientific evidence.
Warnings about possible side effects also must also appear in the ads and on product labels, the FTC said.
“Despite evidence of those health risks and at least one death of a college student in Florida, which was directly attributed to taking a large dose of a product similar to Ecstasy, the company continued to promote this product as a safe and natural high ,” said Jodie Bernstein of the FTC’s consumer protection bureau.
The main ingredient of Herbal Ecstasy is ephedra, a compound extracted from plants and used for centuries by Chinese practitioners as a medicine. Ephedra also is sold under the names Ma huang, Chinese ephedra and epitonin.