Internet slimming products 'pose health risk'
Laboratory analysis of 122 slimming products purchased over the Internet have forced Swiss authorities to issue a health warning.
Swissmedic, the Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products, said in a newly released report that most of the slimming products distributed via Internet and seized by Swiss customs authorities last year pose a threat to health.
In a statement, the group said many of the products, which were analyzed prior to destruction, contained sibutramine, a substance already withdrawn from the market worldwide over a year ago, because of suspicions that it causes heart and circulatory problems. Some samples revealed triple the previously recommended dose, which is life-threatening, Swissmedic said.
Rimonabant, another substance used to help weight loss that has also been withdrawn worldwide, was also found in the products, it said. One third of the samples were labeled as "purely herbal", but still contained chemical ingredients.
Swissmedic said such products, widely available on the Internet, are increasingly being ordered in Switzerland and beyond.