‘Need harsher penalties for sale of illegal supplements‘

Dr Mohammad (centre), state health deputy director (pharmacy) Dr Wan Noraimi Wan Ibrahim (right) and pharmacy enforcement chief Dr Mohd Zawawi Abdullah showing the seized products valued at almost RM1mil. — Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU: The state health department is calling for a review of regulations to discourage traders from selling unlicensed health and beauty supplements.

Terengganu Health director Dr Mohammad Omar said it was high time the penalties were reviewed to mete out heavier fines and penalties on traders who sell such supplements.

“The fines are too low and the offenders can easily afford to pay them as they make much more from the sale of their products,” he said.

This comes after the department seized unlicensed health and beauty supplements valued at close to RM1mil from a repeat offender in Dungun.

The items seized include skin whitening products as well as a supplement said to help increase one’s height.

The sale of the products was brought to the department’s attention by curious buyers who wanted to verify the legitimacy of the products.

The trader had previously been caught and charged in 2014 for the same offence.

The company began business by selling the supplement that it claimed will increase height and later added skin whitening products as well, Dr Mohammad said.

Also seized were slimming pills that were found to contain seven types of toxins.

Dr Mohammad said the skin whitening and height inducing supplements were yet to be tested for toxins or other illegal substances.

The case will be investigated under the Sales of Drugs Act 1952 where an individual can be fined up to RM25,000 and not more than three years in prison or both for the first offence, and up to RM50,000 and not more than five years in prison for the second offence.

Under the same Act, companies can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and up to RM100,000 for the second offence.

Dr Mohammad advised the public to be vigilant and always check whether a supplement or cosmetic is licensed and registered via http://npra.moh.gov.my

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