Ingredients of shady origins, posing as supplements

Source: Bloomberg News

Pieter Cohen is scanning the shelves inside a shop in Chinatown here when something familiar — and potentially dangerous — catches his eye. “What’s that yellow box, behind the other one?” Dr. Cohen asks the clerk. It is Pai You Guo, a supposedly natural weight-loss supplement from China that, according to federal authorities, has tested positive in the past for containing two hazardous drugs, including a suspected carcinogen. The product was recalled in 2009. One of Dr. Cohen’s patients in the Boston area ended up in the hospital last year with a range of ailments after taking Pai You Guo, a brand-name that, loosely translated from Chinese, means “the fruit that eliminates fat.”

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