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Arrest made over dangerous weigh-loss supplements

The police Consumer Protection Division and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have seized illegal weight-loss food supplements worth Bt5 million, a Bangkok press conference heard on Wednesday.

The operation on Tuesday raiding a Pathum Thani-based company selling “Paya Slim Plus” products, which had been sold online, stemmed from complaints from the public.

The supplements were found to carry other products’ drug registration and 13-digit food product numbers on the labels, said division chief Pol Maj-General Prasert Pattanadee.

Police identified the company owner as Suthee Ard-dee, 30, who is facing charges including selling counterfeit food supplements and selling products with unauthorised labels.

FDA deputy chief Prapon Angtrakul said the products in question were found to contain a potentially dangerous pharmaceutical substance called Sibutramine, which helps suppress the appetite.

Sibutramine was removed from the Thai drug registration system in 2010 and classified as potentially dangerous by the FDA. It can cause palpitations, shortness of breath, increased risk of serious cardiovascular events and fatal liver failure, Prapon said.

Prasert urged people taking medications or food supplements to lose weight to consult doctors or pharmacists before using products, while warning manufacturers and distributors of supplements to abide by the law and related regulations.

He also asked people to alert authorities about similar violations via the division’s hotline number 1135 or the FDA hotline 1556.

The Nation

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