Police seize food supplements with banned substances

Police seize food supplements with banned substances

Authorities seek to question executives of two plants in Samut Sakhon

Representatives from the Consumer Protection Police Division and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) display weight-loss and food supplement products seized from two factories in Samut Sakhon during a briefing on Friday. (Photo taken from www oryor.com)
Representatives from the Consumer Protection Police Division and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) display weight-loss and food supplement products seized from two factories in Samut Sakhon during a briefing on Friday. (Photo taken from www oryor.com)

Authorities have seized many weight-loss and food supplement products believed to contain the banned additive sibutramine during raids on two factories in Samut Sakhon province.

About 5 million baht worth of capsules and machinery was seized at the two factories in tambon Bang Nam Jued of Muang district, according to the Consumer Protection Police Division (CPPD) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The raids followed complaints that food supplement products bearing the Becoli brand contained sibutramine, sennoside and bisacodyl. The products were produced by Nine Cos Co, FDA secretary-general Tharet Kratnairaveewong said at a briefing on Friday.

FDA officials and police then raided the Nine Cos Co factory and another plant nearby. Many food supplement products made by Nine Cos Co were found at the second site and lacked proper labels.

Nobody claimed ownership of the products. Officials then seized the products for laboratory tests, Thai media reported.

Pol Maj Gen Sithatkhet Khruwattanaset, the CPPD chief, said the two factories were intially found to be producing food supplements without permission. This offence carries a jail term of up to 3 years and/or a fine of up to 30,000 baht. 

Authorities are also weighing charges of producing or possessing products with harmful substances with intent to sell. That offence carries a jail term of 5-20 years and a fine of between 100,000 and 400,000 baht. Police plan to call the executives of the two firms for questioning. 

Officials in recent years have been dealing with numerous cases of food and weight-loss products of dubious value, some with harmful chemicals and others with fake FDA registration numbers. Most are marketed online.

The Foundation for Consumers this week asked the FDA to revoke the registrations of 10 dietary supplement brands and penalise manufacturers that include harmful chemicals in their products.


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