SINGAPORE - Consumers have been warned not to buy or consume the weight-loss products "Bobba Fitz" and "Bobba Toxx" after they were found to contain a banned substance and a dangerous level of laxative respectively.
Bobba Fitz is labelled to contain natural ingredients such as whey protein, cocoa powder and garcinia cambogia, which is a fruit-derived ingredient, but the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) found that it also contains sibutramine, which has been banned since 2010 due to it causing an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Bobba Toxx contains an amount of a laxative - sennosides- that is about four times the usual dose, said HSA in a statement on Monday (March 1).
Sennosides, when consumed at high levels, can cause adverse effects such as cramping and diarrhoea. Prolonged use may cause chronic constipation, bloating and abdominal pain.
Both products - marketed as weight-loss products - are often sold together and packaged in boxes of 10 powdered sachets.
HSA said in the statement that a woman here experienced palpitations and mood swings after consuming both products. She recovered after she stopped taking the supplements.
The products were sold on local e-commerce and social media platforms.
HSA added that it had worked with various platform administrators, including Shopee, Lazada, Facebook and Instagram, to promptly remove the listings and issue warnings to the respective sellers.
Sibutramine was previously a prescription-only weight-loss medicine in Singapore. It has been known to also cause insomnia, hallucinations and the hearing of voices.
HSA warned that all remaining sellers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately.
"HSA will not hesitate to take stern enforcement actions against anyone who sells and supplies products found to be adulterated with banned substances or potent ingredients," it said.
Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and, if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to two years and/or fined up to $10,000, it added.
Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of the products may contact HSA's enforcement branch on 6866-3485 during office hours or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org