M'sian collagen drink and skin care product tainted

KUALA LUMPUR - The Health Ministry said yesterday that the latest batch of "Lennox Firm-Up Collagen Drink" (F1104001) from Leton Products (M) Sdn Bhd has been found to be contaminated.

The ministry said the beverage was contaminated with diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), a cancer-causing plastic additive.

The ministry also confirmed that another 12 batches of the "Lennox Firm-Up Collagen Drink" that were suspected to be contaminated with DEHP had been confirmed to be free of the chemical.

The drinks were from batch numbers F1102003, 1103002, 1103003, 1104002, 1105001, 1105002, 1105003, 1106001, 1106002, 1106003, 1106004 and 1106005.

On June 22, the ministry had directed Leton Products to withdraw the "Lennox Firm-Up Collagen Drink" batch number F1104001 for suspected contamination of DEHP.

The DEHP contamination came from the raw materials used in a "grape concentrate" produced by a Taiwanese company.

The public can get details of Taiwanese food products at http://moh.gov.my, or call the ministry's Food Safety and Quality Division at 03-8883 3652 or 03-8883 3653.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the public had been reminded to stop using a skin care product called Sensual Whitening Cream.

Health Ministry senior director of pharmaceutical services Eisah A. Rahman said the product had been banned following the detection of mercury.

"Sensere Marketing Sdn Bhd, the company responsible for placing the product in the market, has been instructed to immediately halt its sale and supply, and to remove all their stock from the market within 72 hours."

She urged those in possession of this product to stop selling, distributing and using it.

"Using products containing mercury can cause skin rashes, irritation and other changes to the skin, and at the same time, can damage the brain, nervous system and kidneys.

"Pregnant women who use this product face the risk of having their babies becoming severely poisoned, resulting in brain damage and other malformations."

Eisah said any individual who committed an offence under the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984 could be fined up to RM25,000 or jailed up to three years, or both.

"For a subsequent offence, the offender shall be liable to a fine not exceeding RM50,000 (S$20,400) or imprisonment for up to five years, or both.

"A company found guilty of the offence can be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and up to RM100,000 for the subsequent offence."

More information can be obtained by calling the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau at 03-7883 5532/5534 or email to potm@bpfk.gov.my.