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Local food supplements warehouse shut down for selling unapproved products

A Cuenca business that sold food and health supplements and cosmetic products to local retailers has been closed by the Ecuador Health Regulatory and Control Agency (Arcsa).

An Arcsa agent inspects some of the food supplements seized in a Tuesday raid.

More than 100 different supplements and cosmetics were seized in Tuesday’s raid, most of them in bulk packaging from the U.S. Arcsa said the products did not contain a health notification label and some had not been approved by the national health regulatory board.

In a statement, Arcsa said that the government maintains “the total prohibition to commercialize products for human consumption that do not comply with the Sanitary Notification and Sanitary Registry.”

An Arcsa agent explained that, for political reasons, the U.S. allows the sales and distribution of supplements and cosmetics that are illegal in most other countries.

Among the products seized were cartons of “essential oils” that the agent called “snake oil.” He said that the owner of the manufacturing company that produced the product was a U.S. citizen who had lived in Ecuador for several years. “The only thing essential about the oil was for the owner’s bank account,” he said.

In compliance with privacy and confidentiality laws, Arcsa did not release the name of the closed business since the investigation is continuing.