Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Halt ordered to diet aid’s sale

Halt ordered to diet aid’s sale

A product shot of Mazeta Slim that was banned by the government on Monday after the product was found to be unregistered.
A product shot of Mazeta Slim that was banned by the government on Monday after the product was found to be unregistered. Hong Menea

Halt ordered to diet aid’s sale

The Ministry of Heath on Monday ordered pharmacies to halt the sale of unapproved diet pill Mazeta Slim, a purportedly American drug that the ministry said actually likely originates in China.

In a statement from Health Minister Mam Bunheng, the Kingdom’s pharmacies are advised under threat of the law to stop sale of Mazeta Slim, produced by Greatwallbuy International Trading Co, Ltd, whose listed address is a house in a California suburb.

While the pills’ packaging – complete with an American flag – suggests the product was made in the USA, inspection by officials revealed the distributer is based in Hong Kong, according to ministry secretary of state Chou Yinsim, who also said the product can be purchased online.

Online ads can be easily found touting the product at $18 a package, as can additional addresses for the producer listed in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China.

Yinsim said that the ban on sale was issued because “we are afraid of [Mazeta Slim] harming the user’s health”.

“We are still searching for this medicine throughout the provinces,” he continued, although he could not say how much of the product was on the market.

The ministry released a warning letter the same day to Phsar Tapang pharmacy – in the capital’s Phsar Thmey I commune – which was found carrying the supplement, saying it would be shut down if the pills were found there a second time.

A Phsar Tapang pharmacist, who declined to be named, said it was the ministry’s responsibility to crack down on importers, and that his pharmacy had been unfairly singled out and “fined a lot of money”.

“The Ministry of Health should take action on the medicine importer,” he said, adding that the weight loss supplement “was not only sold in my pharmacy; other pharmacies also sell it”.

What’s more, according to the pharmacist, Mazeta Slim is an “effective and popular medicine, as well as a best seller”.

Indeed, a box of the “Best Weight Loss product” was easily acquired for $7 at a pharmacy on another major boulevard whose pharmacist, while aware of the ban, happily defended the sale.

“That medicine is not harmful to the user, so we can sell it; this medicine is one of the popular slimming products in my pharmacy,” she said, adding that “if registered, the product would be more expensive and would be hard to sell out”.

“[The ministry] is trying to get them [Mazeta Slim] to register for their own benefit,” she said, adding that Mazeta Slim remains readily available from distributors.

According to pills’ packaging, the ingredients are all natural, ranging from household herbs, such as tarragon; to a naturally derived diuretic, Job’s tears; to psyllium, an appetite suppressant capable of causing swelling of the throat, though only in high doses.

Yim Yann, honorary president of the Pharmaceutical Association of Cambodia said that while it is the ministry’s duty to issue such a ban, “pharmacists should have the morality to follow the ministry’s order . . . to avoid any harm to user[s]” and that drug importers often avoid registration for their own benefit.

MOST VIEWED

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • PM warns EU and opposition on 34th anniversary of his rule

    HUN Sen reached the milestone of 34 years as Cambodian prime minister on Monday and used the groundbreaking ceremony for a new ring road around Phnom Penh to tell the international community that putting sanctions on the Kingdom meant killing the opposition. “Please don’t forget