Bioslim: an illegal medicine?

Posted 14 February 2010

Is Bioslim being sold as an illegal medicine? Here is a letter from the Medical Control Council (MCC) to the ASA in response to a query from them. The letter dated 2003, states the following:



Date 7/14/2003 SUBJECT: Slimming claims: Bio Slim

Dear Ms Singh,

Kindly note that the Department of Health and the Registrar of Medicines had called up slimming agents in 1972. This implies that all products claiming to fall within the pharmacological classification relating to Slimming had been called-up for registration as a medicine where these agents had to submit proof of efficacy, safety and quality. Our records as the office of the Registrar of Medicine do not indicate that the said product is registered as a medicine.

The MCC had also ruled that no medicine may make a claim for “Natural”. Further did the call-up notice of 22 February 2002 call for all complimentary medicine to submit an application to the Registrar in order for the Registrar and the Council to determine the xxx of the available products on the market. These applications submitted to the office of the registrar do not constitute product registration but is considered a mere step in the registration process. Council is in the process of reviewing these claims of safety, quality and efficacy and will act, in the interest of public health, on these claims.

Also, the Food Act requires that any product to be sold as a slimming agent must have as part of the product a kilo joule restricted diet. Also the word “natural” may not be used in the advertisement of any food supplement.

It is therefore clear from the advertisement that the MCC cannot endorse the product as a medicine or as a so-called complementary medicine. Looking at the Food Act, the advertisement also does not comply with the requirements of the said Act. It is thus the opinion of this office that the product is an illegal medicine making claims for slimming which had not been evaluated by the MCC.

FROM: Joey Gouws


A subsequent letter to the ASA from the Directorate Food Control, dated 14 February 2008, concurred.





The question is then:

  • Why are Bioslim products still being sold as non-medicines?
  • Why are retail stores such as Pick ‘n Pay still selling this product in spite of having been informed by one of the editors regarding this fact?
  • Why has the MCC not acted against these products?
  • Why did the ASA not rule against these products?

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