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Press Release

Public urged not to take slimming product with banned western drug ingredients (with photo)

11 May 2009

The Department of Health (DH) today (May 11) urged members of the public not to buy or consume two slimming products called "SB Factor" and "GQ Factor" as they were found to contain a banned western drug ingredient.

Product samples were obtained from a retailer in Mongkok during a recent operation. Laboratory analysis on the product samples today showed the presence of phenolphthalein, a western drug ingredient.

DH subsequently raided the retailer and importer, resulting in the seizure of 138 boxes of the two products.

A spokesman for DH said phenolphthalein is used in the past for treating constipation but has been banned for its association with increase risk of cancer.

Under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, a product containing western drug ingredients is a pharmaceutical product and must first be registered before sale.

DH has instructed the importer to immediately recall the products from the market and will closely monitor the recall.

The importer has set up a hotline (2344 2039) for enquiries.

The spokesman advised members of the public who had used the product to stop taking it immediately and seek advice from their doctors if they felt unwell.

He said, "Normal body weight should be achieved by observing good diet and appropriate exercise. They should consult healthcare professionals before using any medication for weight control."

Anyone who has the slimming products in their possession should dispose of the product or submit them to the department's Pharmaceutical Service at 3/F, Public Health Laboratory Centre, 382 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon, during office hours.

11 May 2009