UAE | Health

UAE bans green tea and coffee meant for weight-loss

Potentially harmful ingredients not listed on label of Leptin slimming products

  • By Rayeesa Absal and Nathalie Farah, Staff Reporters
  • Published: 00:00 May 30, 2010
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) has banned the sale of weight loss products, Leptin Green Coffee 800 and Leptin Slimming Bag Green Tea, after laboratory tests revealed potentially harmful medical ingredients that were not declared on the label, officials said.

Obaid Juma Al Matroushi, MOEW Acting Director-General, issued a decision on Sunday, banning the products from being brought into the UAE and from being sold on the market.

The products were found to contain medical ingredients that were not recorded on the label. Ministry officials said they were not registered as medicines and were being sold without prescription. The products, which are manufactured by America Leptin Pharmaceuticals, were banned in Saudi Arabia last month after it was found they contained Sibutramine.

Sibutramine was formerly licensed for slimming, but later suspended from use after studies revealed its link to an increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Despite attempts to contact America Leptin Pharmaceuticals, no representative was available for comment.

Lipton tea is fine

Because Leptin is spelt the same as the popular product Lipton in Arabic, and have similar English names, Iain Potter, Vice President, Marketing, Unilever North Africa Middle East issued a statement confirming that Lipton green tea is free of any harmful products.

"Unilever, the producer of the Lipton brand of teas would like to clarify that it is in no way associated with American Leptin Pharmaceutical Ltd., whose brand of Green Tea has been banned by the Saudi FDA as it contains sibutramine," Potter said.

"We would like to confirm that all Lipton tea products are made of natural tea leaves and do not contain any artificial ingredients, especially those alleged in the American Leptin Pharmaceutical Ltds product," he said.

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