THE Ministry of Health alerted members of the public to two types of health and three cosmetic products which have been tested by the Laboratory of Pharmacy Section, Scientific Laboratory Services of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and found to be adulterated with undeclared, potent western medicine. The adulterants found in these products can cause adverse effects that are potentially hazardous to the users.
The affected health products are Viral Slim Capsule manufactured by Jutawan QM Sdn Bhd, found adulterated with Sibutramine, and the California Pure Candy B+ Complex Superfood – Fountain of Youth manufactured by California Pure, USA found adulterated by Tadalafil.
Sibutramine is a slimming agent and is no longer recommended for medical use in obesity due to its harmful effects on the heart and liver. Its consumption can also cause serious adverse reactions such as high blood pressure, heart palpitation, insomnia and in worst cases, kidney and liver damage.
Tadalafil is a drug used to treat male impotency and can only be prescribed by a qualified doctor or physician. Among their side effects include nausea, vomiting, flushing and dizziness. In severe cases, they can also result in abnormal increase in heart rate, sudden loss of hearing and seizures.
Meanwhile, the affected cosmetic products are the Luffiya Night Cream 1, found adulterated with Hydroquinone. Polla Polla Gold Super White Perfects Facial Skin Care Cream for Double White Pink Skin Valuable for You Forever and Polla Platinum Crystal White Nourishing Face Cream Extraordinary Quality for You, found adulterated with Mercury.
The unsupervised use of Hydroquinone may cause skin hypersensitivity, skin discolouration resulting in gradual darkening of the affected skin area and an increased risk of skin cancer. Mercury is a potent ingredient that is prohibited in cosmetic products as stipulated in the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2007. Mercury is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its hazardous effects on human health. It is readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tends to accumulate in the body. Exposure to mercury can cause skin rashes, memory loss and muscle weakness while high exposures may result in damage to the brain and kidneys. It is also extremely toxic to unborn children.
The Ministry of Health has not issued any approval for the importation for the sale of these products and/or Cosmetic Notification Acknowledgement Letter for the sale of the rest of affected products.
Following these findings, the products are not allowed to be imported and sold in Brunei Darussalam. Members of the public who have purchased or used these products are advised to stop using them immediately.
They should also consult a medical practitioner if they feel unwell or experience any undesirable reactions as a result of using them.
Members of the public involved in the retail of these products (including online retail such as through Facebook, etc) are hereby reminded that it is an offence under the Poisons Act 1956 to sell any product containing any substance controlled under the said Act and the penalty for such an offence upon conviction, is a fine of $8,000 or six months’ imprisonment.
Furthermore, if a person commits an Act that amounts to such a degree of negligence so as to endanger or be likely to endanger human life, then such person shall be guilty of an offence which carries a penalty of a fine of $16,000 and 12 months’ imprisonment.
The public are also reminded that it is an offence under the Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations, 2007 to import and market cosmetic products in the local market without a Cosmetic Product Notification Acknowledgement Letter issued by the authority, where the penalty for contravening these regulations upon conviction, is a fine not exceeding $5,000, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.