Red flag raised on three products

Azlan Othman

The Ministry of Health (MoH) informed the public that three food products have been found to contain controlled substances – Sibutramine and Tadalafil – which can be harmful to health.

The findings are the result of a laboratory test conducted by the Department of Scientific Services of the MoH on food products taken from the local market. The use of these substances in food is prohibited under the Public Health (Food) Regulations, (P1 Chapter 182).

The products are: BZ Lemon Tea, 225g (15 sachets x15 g) distributed by AS Legacy Beauty (tainted with Sibutramine); California Pure Candy B + Coffee Extra Power (10 sachets x 20 g) distributed by California Pure 1680 South Elisha Drive, Suite 320 Greenbrae, CA 94904, USA (tainted with Tadalafil and Sibutramine) and Mocha B – Candy containing Tadalafil.

Sibutramine is a body slimming agent that is no longer recommended for use in the treatment of obesity because of its harmful effects on the heart and liver.

Taking sibutramine can also cause serious adverse effects such as high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm and difficulty in sleeping; and in the worst cases, it can cause damage to the kidneys and liver.

Tadalafil is a substance regulated under the Poisons Act 1956 (Section 114) and is used to treat impotence requiring prescription and supervision of a physician.

Among the side effects are nausea, vomiting, redness and dizziness. In serious cases, it can also lead to high heart rate, sudden hearing loss and seizures.

Photos above show the products found to contain controlled substances – Sibutramine and Tadalafil – which can be harmful to health. PHOTOS: MINISTRY OF HEALTH

The MoH recommends that consumers discontinue taking the products and surrender them to the Food Safety and Quality Control Division, Department of Environmental Health Services or health offices in the districts to be destroyed.

Importers and retailers must recall their products from the market and submit them to the Food Safety and Quality Control Division, the Department of Environmental Health Services or the health offices in the districts.

As stipulated under Section 9 of subsection (1) sub-paragraph (a) of the Public Health (Food) Act (Chapter 182), anyone who supplies, sells or imports food that is harmful to health may be imprisoned for five years, fined or both.

Members of the public are reminded that it is an offence under Section 17 of the Poisons Act 1956 (Chapter 114) to sell any product containing substances that are controlled under the Act.

Anyone who violates this provision is liable to a fine of up to BND8,000 or a six-month jail term if found guilty.

In addition, anyone who commits a crime on the basis of his own negligence or that may endanger the life of the person shall be liable to a fine of up to BND16,000 and 12 months imprisonment, if found guilty. More information on importing food products can be obtained from Food Safety and Quality Control Division at 2237417 or fax 2237467.

More information on poisonous substances controlled under the Poisons Act can be obtained from the Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division of the Department of Pharmaceutical Building in Kampong Madaras by contacting 2393298 (ext 208), faxing 2393291 or e-mailing [email protected]