Red flag raised on ‘Matcha Premium’

Azlan Othman

The Ministry of Health (MoH) informed the public that a food product has been found to contain a controlled substance, Sibutramine, which can be harmful to health.

This finding is the result of a laboratory test conducted by the Department of Scientific Services of the MoH on samples of food products taken from the local market. The use of this substance in food is prohibited under the Public Health (Food) Regulations, (Chapter 182).

The product is Matcha Premium (40 tablets) EA Global, distributed by EA Global, 41-1, SC3 Road, Chua River Industrial Center, 43000 Kajang, Malaysia.

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, an irregular heart beat and difficulty in sleeping; and in the worst cases, it can cause damage to the kidneys and liver.

The MoH urges consumers who have the product to discontinue use and surrender it to the Food Quality and Safety Control Division, Department of Environmental Health Services or health offices for destruction.

Matcha Premium (40 tablets) EA Global. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HEALTH

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

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 as long as five years, fined or both. The public is reminded that it is an offence under Section 17 of the Poisons Act 1956 (Chapter 114) to sell any product containing substances that are regulated 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.

Information on importing food products can be obtained from the Quality Control and Food Safety Division, Department of Environmental Health Services of the MoH at 2237417 or fax 2237467.

Meanwhile, information on poisonous substances regulated under the Poisoning Act can be obtained from the Pharmaceutical Enforcement Division of the Department of Pharmacy Services in Kampong Madaras at 2393298 (ext 208), fax 2393291 or email [email protected]