Despite being banned in many countries, online retailers are still pushing these dangerous pills worldwide with huge health implications for some people.
Cheap diet pills from China and the Far East may not be just the bargain it seems!
The diet pills watchdog undertakes another special investigation in order to bring you the facts.
So What Are Chinese Diet Pills?
Chinese diet pills are normally only available from online retailers from websites that attempt to look like they are English focused. The idea is to fool the potential buyer into thinking the site is based in the US or the UK and is a trustworthy place to buy diet pills.
This is usually far from the truth as in most cases the websites are owned by all manner of people from large businesses, operating on the edge of respectability to one-man bands operating out of their bedrooms.
The only thing that matters is to get the sale and make some money, and often that is at the expense of the people who fall victim to such schemes. Most times you are buying some faked and copied tablets with very little possibility that they will ever work. Rather more disturbingly, you may well be buying diet pills containing dangerous ingredients that cause direct damage to the body.
So How Can Chinese Diet Pills be Dangerous?
The biggest danger is that the diet pills are produced outside of the regulations in China. Over recent years the Chinese government have cracked down on the way that over the counter medicine and dietary supplements works. This was because in the 80’s and 90’s there was an explosion in the number of companies producing and selling these types of products.
As a result a “Blue Hat” scheme was introduced:
The Health Food Administration Regulations began the registration process known as the “blue hat” registration. The “blue hat” is the nickname for the small blue logo a product receives after being successfully registered. This registration gave dietary supplements limited advertising rights, potency restrictions and limited functional claims that could be made after going through a lengthy and costly registration process.
This was the authorities in China getting on top of the problem; unless a supplement was approved with a “blue hat” label then it is illegal to produce and sell.
This meant that all the back street manufacturers then had to go even more underground.
Why Are They Targeting English Speaking Countries?
The UK and US are a massive market for dietary supplements. It is not possible to get hard and fast amounts for the amount of money that is spent but it is estimated to run into Billions of dollars per year.
As result of this huge spending power, dodgy companies in China and other parts of the Far East are hitting the market hard. With the freedom that the Internet offers people, it is so easy to do this online.
Simply buy a domain, throw some content up and you are literally open for business. You can then use some shady tactics to get rankings in the search engines (like Google) and then the visitors will come.
In most cases there is so little information offered that it is not always possible for the casual surfer to see where the diet pills are coming from.
But What Is Wrong With Chinese Diet Pills?
As shown above, if a diet pill passes the strict regulations for sale in China then it is normally considered safe for consumption. As is also shown though, the ones acting outside the law are the ones who are usually behind the sales in to Western countries.
Because they are not following any regulations, then the Chinese diet pills can contain all manner of substances that have never been tested or approved for consumption.
If you are very lucky, you can get to see a list of the ingredients (supposedly) in the diet pill. In many cases you really don’t know if such ingredients are inside and this is just something to play along with the whole sham. Normally these ingredients have exotic sounding names and are often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In some cases they may have some positive benefits but in many cases there is no evidence as to their safety or effectiveness.
If you are unlucky, you could be ingesting all manner of dangerous chemicals, with sometimes tragic consequences.
How Dangerous Can They Be?
One of the stories recently in the news was from an 18-year-old girl from Ireland. She purchased a product called Meizitang Soft Gel, which we happened to issue warnings about a while ago.
Amongst the warnings we issued were;
- Wild weight loss claims
- Poorly written site
- No indication of ingredient quantities
- No proper details for company
- Fake Testimonials?
We summed things up with:
Meizitang fails on just about every level possible. Suspect unproven ingredients, fake reviews, and no contact details, the list goes on.
We concluded that it was…
One of the worst we have reviewed so far
You can imagine our surprise then when we heard this terrible story. After buying these diet pills the girl was rushed to Hospital in Dublin with acute abdominal pains and bloody diarrhoea. This was five days after taking the drug.
She was diagnosed by the Doctors with Acute Ischaemic Colitis, which is brought on by the swelling of the large intestine. When doctors realised she was in danger of complete Organ failure they did emergency surgery and she had to have her Colon removed.
After an investigation by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) they found the diet pills she took contained a banned substance called Sibutramine. This was present in the diet pills she had bought and was concluded to have caused the terrible condition she sustained.
What Are The Authorities Doing About Chinese Diet Pills?
Because the diet pills are sold and shipped online and sent singly through the post, it is not always possible to track them. Unfortunately some slip though customs and consumers could be putting themselves at risk without knowing it.
The IMB have issued a number of warnings which includes the following details:
- There is no way of knowing if the product you receive has been tested and approved for human use. What is sent to you may not even be the medicine that was advertised on the website.
- There is no way of knowing, with any certainty, how or where the product was manufactured. Because of this, there is no way of knowing if the manufacturer operates to acceptable standards of quality and cleanliness.
- The product may not have been packaged, labelled or stored correctly and could be out?of?date. It might also include incorrect patient information such as the instructions for use.
- The active ingredient in a product is what makes it work. A product bought online may contain no active ingredient, too much or too little of an active ingredient, or the wrong ingredients altogether. It could simply be useless in treating your medical complaint. At best, it may be a waste of your money. At worst, it could cause you serious harm.
- Some products purchased online have been found to contain dangerous toxic substances
- As there is no certainty about the ingredients used to make the product, you can’t be sure if it is safe to use alongside medicines you may already be taking. Unexpected interactions may occur with your regular medicines.
What Products Are Involved In All This?
The IBM has published a list of 38 illegal products that have been found to contain Sibutramine (see below). It has advised any consumers taking these products to immediately stop doing so, and has advised anyone experiencing ill effects after ingesting such products to contact their doctor immediately.
- Botanical Slimming 100% Natural Soft Gel (Capsules) also sold as “Meizitang”
- Lipro Diet Pills
- Li Da Capsules
- Li Da Daidaihua
- Reduce Weight Fruta Planta Capsules
- Chinashow (Capsules)
- Slim body #1 Capsules
- Slimforte Slimming Coffee
- Slimforte Slimming Capsules
- Svelte 30 Capsules
- Celerite Slimming Tea
- Celerite Slimming Capsules
- Fat Burner No. 1 Capsules
- Herbal Diet Natural Capsule
- Tea Polyphenol Capsules
- Ultra Effect Capsules
- Slim Magic Herbal Capsules
- Slim 3 in 1 Slim Formula
- Natural Slim Capsules
- 2 Day Diet Capsules
- Best Life Fat Burning Capsules
- Golden Root Formula
- Capsule 1
- Eight Treasure Emperor Capsule
- Paiyouji Plus
- Leisure 18
- Royal Viga
- Sibutramine HCI Monohydrate Capsules
- Slimming Coffee
- Super Slim
- Zhen de shou
- Sibustat -15
- Obestat – 15
- Obety -15
As can be seen, it’s simply not worth taking the gamble with your body and your health. Buying cheap diet pills from China or the Far East may seem like a bargain but in the end could you cost you far more!
We would issue a strong warning to be very wary of buying any diet pills from China or the Far East. This goes hand in hand with the warnings from The Irish Medicines Board.
Like to know more about China’s Dietary Supplement industry?, Take a look at Jeff Crowther’s industry update article here.