Simply slim diet pill urgently recalled

2010-02-06 00:00

THE diet pill Simply Slim has been recalled with immediate effect for safety reasons, the Health Department said yesterday.

“The Medicines Control Council [MCC] suspended sales of the product,” said spokesman Fidel Radebe.

“It must be removed from shelves with immediate effect.”

Radebe said the product should have been registered with the MCC but it was not.

“People have been complaining about difficulties during and after the use of the product. It can be dangerous to use,” he said.

It was reported the slimming product, which claims to be 100% natural, contains sibutramine.

According to health regulations, any pill containing sibutramine must be registered as a prescription medicine and must contain no more than 15mg sibutramine. Side-effects include an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Dr George van der Watt, a chemical pathologist at a Cape laboratory, said tests show Simply Slim contains 27mg of sibutramine.

Simply Slim has maintained that the samples were falsified Simply Slim products and said its product is sold by agents.

A South African purchaser who knows little about the pharmaceutical industry heard the following promotional statement when he was in China about a month ago to obtain information about slimming products for a South African client: “How much sibutramine can we add to your 100% herbal slimming product, 10 mg or double strength? Or do you want the weak formula?

“Just remember, 80% of our clients prefer the chemical product, because their consumers want to lose weight fast.”

The man, who has 15 years’ experience in the purchasing of other products in China, told Beeld he didn’t even know what sibutramine was. It was only when he gave feedback to his client and later did some research on sibutramine that he realised with a shock he had almost been involved in an illegal activity.

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