Pharma tops list of harmful fake goods

Pharmaceuticals have come top of a list of potentially harmful counterfeit products in a newscast prepared by Yahoo! Finance in its 'Top 5' series.

The bulletin notes that $11m-worth of fake pharmaceuticals were seized in the USA in 2009, and cites Pfizer's Lipitor cholesterol drug (atorvastatin) and GlaxoSmithKline's over-the-counter weight-loss product Alli as examples of potentially hazardous fakes.

Number two on the list is electrical goods ($4.3m in seizures last year), particularly items which can pose a fire risk such as power cords, lights and surge protectors. Number three is critical technology components ($3.8m), with the recent case of fake computer chips sold to the US military highlighted.

Fourth comes fake perfume ($3.7m), with knock-off copies containing a range of unpleasant ingredients including bacteria, urine and anti-freeze. Last on the list is counterfeit sunglasses ($2.9m), which may not provide the eyes with sufficient protection against harmful ultraviolet light.

The newscast does a great job in highlighting the potential risks to consumers of buying counterfeit products, so we've embedded it below:

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