HSA seizes more than 25,000 illegal health products sold online

More than 25,000 units of illegal health products sold online, including slimming products, cosmetics products and medical devices, amounting to an estimated street value of close to $10,000, were seized by the Health Sciences Authority(HSA) over a week.

This was part of an international Internet-based operation involving some 100 countries that ended on Tuesday. During the week of intensified checks over Internet online platforms to identify illegal health products being sold online in Singapore, 40 posts or sites on the Internet were found to be non-compliant, HSA said on Thursday.

Among the illegal products detected, four were slimming products. Through laboratory testing, these products were found to contain sibutramine, which was not declared on the product labels. Sibutramine is a medicinal ingredient for weight loss and has been suspended for sale in Singapore since October 2010.

Packaged as slimming drinks and popular with buyers online, the four products claimed to contain 100 per cent natural ingredients and deliver fast results without side effects. They are VTOX Trim Up, BONJOUR, CURVY Pearl Beauty slimming orange juice and V12 Fruit Slimming.

HSA's investigations revealed that these four products had been sourced from overseas. Four individuals associated with the products are currently assisting HSA in investigations.

HSA advised consumers to stop the use of these products immediately and to consult their doctors if they feel unwell after taking these products or have other concerns about their health.

Members of the public who encounter illegal, counterfeit or other suspicious products may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch on 6866-3485.

Anyone found convicted of selling these illegal products will face a penalty fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for a of up to two years, or up to under the Poisons Act, and a penalty fine of up to $100,000 imprisonment for up to three years, or both under the Health Products Act.