Sibutramine in weight-loss products costs importers $9K

Friday, 02 August, 2013

Three people have been fined after pleading guilty to failing to declare Sibutramine in weight-loss products. The directors of deregistered company Bruce Imports pleaded guilty and were convicted of 32 charges relating to the sale of imported weight-loss coffees, dried fruit and jelly.

The NSW Food Authority seized several batches of Leptin Green Coffee 80, Leptin Slimming Coffee (Rose Curve), Lose Weight Coffee, Leptin Weight Loss dried plum and My Leptin Weight Loss jelly cups. Testing showed that the products contained Sibutramine, despite claims the foods contained ‘natural’ ingredients.

“These products were putting the health of consumers at risk,” said NSW Food Authority CEO Polly Bennett. “This result serves as a clear reminder to business that if you do the wrong thing you will face the full weight of the law.”

The directors were fined a total of $9840.

Sibutramine was withdrawn from sale as a prescription drug in Australia following concerns regarding its safety were raised. US and European studies have found higher rates of heart attack and stroke in overweight patients using Sibutramine. The drug may also interact with other commonly prescribed medications such as antidepressants and pain relievers.

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