Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) has banned the import, sale and consumption of Jamu Surut Ayu, a weight-loss medication.
MFDA announced the decision in a statement Wednesday.
According to MFDA, though the product is being marketed as a herbal product, lab tests show the product contains lidocaine and sibutramine.
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic. According to MFDA, the extent of damage to the human body from consumption of lidocaine has yet to be determined. Meanwhile, sibutramine is an appetite suppressant which has been discontinued in many countries due to its harmful side effects which includes liver damage, heart attack and stroke.
MFDA advised the public to make informed decisions when purchasing such products through the internet or other mediums, and to be aware of such health frauds.