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Singapore health authority issues warning on dangerous weight-loss products found on Shopee

Singapore’s Health Authority warns against dangerous weight-loss products on Shopee containing the banned substance sibutramine. Users reported adverse effects. The authority urges caution and strict enforcement against sellers.



SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA) has issued a stern warning against three weight-loss products sold on the popular e-commerce platform Shopee after two users reported severe adverse effects.

The products in question, namely Nature Slim, Slimming Seven Days by Figure Up, and Energy Booster Figure-Up New Look Strong Version, were marketed as “natural” or “herbal” solutions but were found to contain alarming levels of sibutramine, a banned toxic substance.

The HSA’s investigation revealed that the weight-loss products, falsely labeled with Good Manufacturing Practice logos, not only contained sibutramine but also posed serious health risks.

Sibutramine, a prescription-only weight loss medicine banned in Singapore since 2010 due to its association with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, can lead to various health complications, including heart problems and central nervous system disorders such as psychosis and hallucinations.

The authority disclosed that it had collaborated with Shopee’s administrators to promptly remove the listings from the platform, emphasizing its commitment to consumer safety.

Furthermore, the HSA has issued warnings to sellers, urging them to cease the distribution of these dangerous products immediately.

One woman who used Nature Slim for two months reported experiencing rapid heartbeat, dry mouth, and extreme thirst.

Initially, she dismissed these symptoms as normal, as the product claimed to enhance metabolism. However, upon suspecting the involvement of sibutramine, she promptly reported her case to the HSA, prompting the investigation.

Another consumer reported dry mouth, extreme thirst, and insomnia after using Slimming Seven Days by Figure Up for a few days. The HSA found “very high” levels of sibutramine in this particular product as well as in the Energy Booster Figure-Up New Look Strong Version.

The HSA emphasized the dangers of such adulterated products, cautioning consumers to be wary of quick weight loss promises or exaggerated claims such as “100 percent herbal.”

It noted that products falsely labelled with quality certifications might deceive consumers into believing they are safe, even when they contain harmful ingredients.

To ensure consumer safety, the HSA advised individuals to purchase weight-loss products only from reputable pharmacies, retailers’ websites, or platforms with an established retail presence in Singapore.

The authority warned that it would take strict enforcement action against anyone found selling or supplying products adulterated with banned substances or potent ingredients. Those convicted may face fines of up to $10,000, imprisonment for up to two years, or both.

Consumers with information about the sale and supply of these illegal products are encouraged to contact HSA’s enforcement branch at 6866-3485 during office hours or email [email protected].

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Why are so many lousy products allowed sale online? Pro Business?