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HSA Alert: ‘Coco Curv’ & ‘Choco Fit’ Found to Contain Banned Substance; ‘Hamer Candy’ Detected with Potent Ingredient Similar to Erectile Dysfunction Medicine

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) is alerting members of the public not to purchase or consume three products which were sold online. HSA’s analysis of the products revealed that, contrary to the listing of ingredients on the packaging, these products contained potent ingredients including a banned substance, sibutramine, that may pose serious health risks to consumers. The three products are:

Product name

Potent ingredients

‘Coco Curv’

Sibutramine – banned in Singapore

‘Choco Fit’

Sibutramine – banned in Singapore

‘Hamer Candy’

Nortadalafil – chemically related to tadalafil, an erectile dysfunction medicine

 

Please refer to Annex A and Annex B of the pdf version for photos of the products and the possible adverse effects of the potent ingredients found in these products.

2        A female consumer who purchased ‘Coco Curv’ in Malaysia suspected that the product could be harmful and reported it to HSA. ‘Coco Curv’ was also marketed online as a slimming product with claims such as “burn fat and calories”, “boost energy and metabolism” and “control carbohydrate craving”. During investigations into ‘Coco Curv’, HSA came across ‘Choco Fit’, another product that was sold online and marketed for slimming. HSA tested both products and detected sibutramine, which has been banned in Singapore since 2010 due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, in both products.

3        A male consumer reported the sale of ‘Hamer Candy’ as he noted that the product was previously detected to contain a potent ingredient. ‘Hamer Candy’ was packaged as a candy, but HSA tested it to contain nortadalafil, which is chemically related to tadalafil, a prescription medicine used to treat male erectile dysfunction. Use of nortadalafil may lead to increased risk of serious adverse effects including low blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.

4        These three products were sold on local e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Qoo10, or social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. HSA has issued warnings to the sellers and directed the respective website administrators to take down the affected listings.

Previously detected products resurfaced with new packaging 

5        HSA had previously alerted the public to ‘Hamer Candy’[1] in 2018 and ‘Choco Fit’[2] in 2019 and taken down the postings of these products. They have recently resurfaced online with new packaging, a common tactic undertaken by unscrupulous manufacturers in an attempt to evade detection and entice consumers.

Advisory to consumers

6        Consumers are advised on the following:

  • Stop taking these three products immediately and see a doctor if you feel unwell or are concerned about your health
  • Do not purchase these products and be wary of products that make exaggerated claims or deliver unexpectedly quick effects. They could contain potent ingredients that can seriously harm your health.

Advisory to sellers and suppliers

7        All sellers and suppliers must stop selling these products immediately. It is illegal to sell and supply adulterated products containing banned substances or potent chemical ingredients. Sellers and suppliers are liable to prosecution and if convicted, may be imprisoned for up to 2 years and/or fined up to $10,000.

8        Members of the public who have any information on the sale and supply of these illegal products may contact HSA's Enforcement Branch at Tel: 6866-3485 during office hours (Monday to Friday) or email: hsa_is@hsa.gov.sg.

HEALTH SCIENCES AUTHORITY
SINGAPORE
6 AUGUST 2020

Download pdf version here757 KB

Consumer, Healthcare professional, Industry member
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