Trio fined for unsafe slimming food

The investigation followed industry complaints that products contained a prescription drug.
The investigation followed industry complaints that products contained a prescription drug.

Three people who have pleaded guilty to selling slimming food products containing undeclared Sibutramine - a drug not permitted in food, have been convicted of various breaches of the Food Act 2003 in the Downing Centre Local Court.

The directors of the deregistered company Bruce Imports were each convicted of 32 charges relating to the sale of imported weight loss coffees, dried fruit and jelly.

The charges, brought by the NSW Food Authority included the sale of unsuitable food, sale of falsely described food, and the sale of food with non-compliant nutrient and/or health claims.

Specific batches of the products, Leptin Green Coffee 800, Leptin Slimming Coffee (Rose Curve), Lose Weight Coffee, Leptin Weight Loss dried plum and My Leptin Weight Loss jelly cups were seized by the NSW Food Authority and subject to product recalls following their investigation.

The investigation followed industry complaints that these types of products contained the prescription drug. The Authority tested the foods and found the undeclared drug ingredient, despite claims the foods contained ‘natural’ ingredients.

NSW Food Authority CEO Polly Bennett said the outcome was the result of hard work and dedication by officers of the NSW Food Authority.

"These products were putting the health of consumers at risk," Bennett said.

"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."

Sibutramine was withdrawn from sale as a prescription drug in Australia due to concerns regarding the safety of the drug. Studies in the United States and Europe found there were higher rates of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks or strokes in overweight patients who were using Sibutramine. It was also found that Sibutramine could interact with many other commonly prescribed medications such as anti depressants and pain relievers.

The directors were fined a total of $9,840.