HSA issues health risk warning for three products

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has warned people not to buy or consume three products that are sold online, two of which had been banned before but resurfaced recently in new packaging.

The dangerous products are powdered drinks Coco Curv and Choco Fit, as well as candy Hamer Candy, it said on Thursday.

Both Coco Curv and Choco Fit contain sibutramine, a prescription drug to aid weight loss that was banned in Singapore in 2010 for increasing heart attack and stroke risks.

Hamer Candy contains nortadalafil, a substance chemically related to tadalafil, which is a prescription erectile dysfunction drug. Inappropriate use of tadalafil will raise a person's risk of having a stroke, heart attack, low blood pressure and painful and exceedingly long erections.

The three products were sold on local e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10, as well as social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

HSA said it has issued warnings to the sellers and suppliers to stop selling them.

It has also directed the respective website administrators to take down the affected listings.

Its analysis of the products found that contrary to the listing of ingredients on the packaging, the products had potent ingredients that may pose serious health risks to people.

HSA said it had warned people about Hamer Candy in November 2018 and Choco Fit in June last year, and the previous postings of these products had been removed.

But both made a comeback recently in new packaging, a common tactic used by unscrupulous manufacturers to evade detection and entice consumers, said the HSA.

A Qoo10 spokesman said on Thursday that it removed a Coco Curv listing on its site within three hours of being informed by HSA on April 6. No sales were made prior to its removal, he added.

The dangerous products include powdered drinks Choco Fit and Coco Curv, both of which contain sibutramine, a prescription drug to aid weight loss that was banned here in 2010 for increasing heart attack and stroke risks. PHOTO: HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY

HSA said it is illegal to sell and supply adulterated products containing banned substances or potent chemical ingredients. Those convicted face a maximum fine of $10,000, up to two years in jail, or both.

People with information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA on 6866-3485 during office hours on weekdays, or send an e-mail to hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2020, with the headline HSA issues health risk warning for three products. Subscribe