Banned substance in slimming products

Both Sparkle Twins and Body Slim Herbal, which can be bought online, contain a banned substance that causes serious health risks.
Both Sparkle Twins and Body Slim Herbal, which can be bought online, contain a banned substance that causes serious health risks.PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

Two slimming products sold here have been found to contain sibutramine, an undeclared and banned substance.

They are Body Slim Herbal and Sparkle Twins, which are available online, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said yesterday.

"HSA had tested both products and found them to contain an undeclared and banned substance, sibutramine, which poses serious health risks," it said.

Sibutramine has been banned here since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. HSA said that it has found several slimming products containing sibutramine in recent years.

It added that Body Slim Herbal was falsely labelled as being 100 per cent natural for quick effect and quicker weight loss. It also claimed to be free of side effects.

Sparkle Twins was also falsely labelled to contain only natural ingredients and sold as a lemon and pomegranate flavoured drink to promote weight loss.

HSA advised those who bought the products to stop taking them immediately. Sellers and suppliers have also been ordered to stop selling the products immediately.

Anyone who supplies illegal health products could face a jail term of up to three years or a fine of up to $100,000, or both.

Those with information on the sale and supply of these illegal products can contact HSA's Enforcement Branch on 6866-3485 during office hours or e-mail hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2018, with the headline 'Banned substance in slimming products'. Print Edition | Subscribe