People of Singapore have been alerted not to purchase or consume two slimming products ‘Li Da Weight Loss Capsule (‘Li Da’)’ and ‘Chapter Plus By BackSlim (‘Chapter Plus’)’ sold online as they contain an undeclared and banned substance, sibutramine, which poses serious health risks.
Issuing the alert, Health Sciences Authority (HSA) of Singapore said, “We have tested both products and found them to contain sibutramine. Both products were found to be sold on various local online platforms. Our preliminary investigations showed that a number of people may have bought the products online.”
Sibutramine has been withdrawn in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. In recent years, HSA has detected several slimming products adulterated with sibutramine. These have caused serious adverse effects in our consumers, including breathing difficulties, palpitations, mood swings, hallucinations and hearing of voices.
A consumer complained of an increase in heart rate following the consumption of ‘Chapter Plus’ purchased online from a local company ‘OUR COCOMO Pte Ltd’. The company is currently assisting with HSA in its investigations.
“Chapter Plus was falsely marketed as a 100 per cent safe dietary supplement with all natural herbs and no side effects,” said HSA.
In addition to this, HSA has also flagged two other products similar to Li Da Weight Loss Capsule that were also found to be adulterated with sibutramine - Li Da DAIDAIHUA Weight Loss Capsule and Lida (Plus).
Issuing an advisory to the public, HSA has asked them to stop taking ‘Li Da’ or ‘Chapter Plus’ immediately and consult a doctor if they are feeling unwell.
“Be wary of health products that promise or deliver quick and miraculous weight loss, or carry exaggerated and extreme claims such as 100 per cent safe and no side effects,” said HSA.
It has also advised the public not to trust online product reviews, as these testimonials usually cannot be verified.
Sellers or suppliers found guilty of selling illegal health products may be jailed for up to three years and/or fined up to SGD100,000.
Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at telephone number 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.