SINGAPORE – Coffee mix S Gold Coffee, which has been promoted as a slimming product online, contains a banned substance and should not be consumed, the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) warned in a statement on Thursday (Sept 26).

The HSA said that the public should not buy or consume S Gold Coffee, as it contains appetite suppressant sibutramine, a substance that has been banned in Singapore since 2010.

A member of the public alerted the HSA to the online sale of the product, as she became suspicious of the coffee when her appetite was suppressed significantly after she consumed it.

The coffee is sold on social media platforms and local e-commerce websites. The HSA has directed local website administrators to stop selling the product.

The HSA said S Gold Coffee’s marketing materials list insomnia as a common reaction and that headaches and heart palpitations show that “the product is working towards internal detoxing and helps to improve blood circulation”.

“In fact, these are known side effects of the banned sibutramine, which the sellers are misleading consumers into believing, are beneficial effects of the product,” the HSA said, adding that sibutramine was banned in Singapore due to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.

The HSA advised consumers to stop taking S Gold Coffee immediately and see a doctor if they feel unwell or are concerned about their health. It added that all sellers and suppliers must stop selling S Gold Coffee immediately.

It warned that is illegal to sell and supply products like S Gold Coffee, which contain potent medicinal ingredients or banned substances. If found guilty of doing so, sellers and suppliers can be jailed for up to two years, fined up to $5,000, or both.