| Azlan Othman |
THE Ministry of Health yesterday warned the public on five food products containing sibutramine and tadalafil which can endanger health.
This finding is a result of a laboratory test conducted by the Ministry of Health on some examples of 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) and under the Poisons Act 1956 (Chapter 114).
The products are Bizzi Boddy (distributed by Das Health & Cosmetics Enterprise Malaysia) containing sibutramine; Choco Fit (distributed by Body Perfector Resources Malaysia) containing sibutramine; and Hamer (Ginseng & Coffee) Red and Gold packaging (distributor unknown) with both products containing tadalafil.
Al-Ambiak Cafe, Natural Herbs Coffee Coffee Stations Al-Ambiak (distributed by Ambiak Enterprise Sdn Bhd Malaysia) contains tadalafil.
Sibutramine is a body slimming agent that is no longer recommended for use in obesity treatment because of its harmful effects on the heart and the liver.
The intake of sibutramine can also cause serious adverse effects such as high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and difficulty in sleeping; and in the worst case damage to the kidneys and liver.
Tadalafil is a controlled substance under the Poison Act 1956 (Chapter 114) and is used to treat impotence which requires prescription and a doctor’s supervision. Some of the side effects when consuming the controlled ingredients are nausea, vomiting, redness and dizziness. In serious cases, it can also cause a high heart beat rate, sudden hearing loss and seizures.
The Ministry of Health advised users to stop taking the products and surrender them to the Food Safety and Quality Control Division, Environmental Health Service Department or Health Offices to be destroyed.
The ministry requested importers and retailers to recall the products from the market and surrender them to the Food Safety and Quality Control Division, the Environmental Health Service Department or Health Offices to be destroyed.
The ministry informed that as stipulated under Section 9 of subsection (1) subparagraph (i) of the Public Health (Food) Act (Chapter 182) any person who prepares, sells or imports food that can harm health can be imprisoned for five years or fined or both.
The public is also reminded that it is an offence under Section 17 of the Poisons Act 1956 (Chapter 114) to sell any products containing controlled substances under the Act.
Anyone who violates this provision may be liable for a fine of BND8,000 or six months’ jail term if found guilty. Additionally, anyone who commits anything due to his own negligence that is harmful or may endanger a human being, may be fined BND16,000 and 12 months in prison, if found guilty.
Further information on the import of food products can be obtained from Quality Control and Food Security Division of the Environmental Health Service Department of the Ministry of Health by calling 2237417 or fax to 2237467.
More information can be obtained from Pharmacy Enforcement Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Services, first floor of Department of Pharmaceutical Services building in Kampong Madaras, Brunei Darussalam by contacting 2393298 ext 208; fax: 2393291 or e-mail: [email protected]