40% of Thai supplements, cosmetics fake or tainted

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Around 40 percent of all food supplements and cosmetics products sold in Thailand’s markets have been found to not only be fake but also contaminated, according to the president of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI)’s Dietary Supplement Industry club.

Nakah Thawichawatt told Thai PBS English news that while there was over 1,000 factories producing quality goods, more than 10,000 factories made subpar products.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have found food supplements containing a mixture of sibutramine, a substance that reduces appetite but is also a precursor in the production of illicit methamphetamine drugs and which has been discontinued in many countries. Some whitening creams contain heavy metal, while some coffee brands have a Viagra mixture in them, Nakah said.

He noted that Thailand’s cosmetics and food supplement industry was worth nearly THB 100 billion (USD 3.16 billion) a year.

The disclosure by the Dietary Supplement Industry club follows a crackdown by authorities on a cosmetic company that was widely endorsed by more than 50 Thai celebrities and net idols, and which sold products without the approval of the FDA.

Photo: Federation of Thai Industries

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