Health Minister Threatens Action Against Those Found Selling Fake Sweeteners

PUTRAJAYA, March 28 — Those selling fake stevia products face punishment under the Food Act 1983, if convicted, said Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam.

He said that he had instructed the ministry’s Food Safety Division to conduct a probe on the issue of 10 stevia products alleged to be fake as reported by a newspaper yesterday to determine if it was the case.

“Under the Food Act, if there is contamination, sale of imitation food products or wrong information related to any type of food, offenders face action,” he told reporters after presenting excellence service awards to 177 staff of his ministry who performed well, here today.

Dr Subramaniam said sale of stevia products does not require a doctor’s prescription as it is a substitute for sugar and usually consumed by those suffering from diabetes.

The newspaper report stated that laboratory tests by Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia and Universiti Putra Malaysia showed that the 10 products did not contain plant extracts but instead a combination of dangerous chemicals. — Bernama