Monday, December 13, 2010

Banned whitening creams are back

AT least 10 whitening creams have resurfaced in health and beauty shops and Chinese drugstores in Metro Manila despite a ban implemented by the Food and Drug Administration.

"We are very upset to find these health-damaging skin lightening creams on store shelves despite the repeated FDA threat of filing criminal charges against violators," said Aileen Lucero of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats).

EcoWaste Coalition conducted a week of market surveillance and test buys from Dec. 1 to 7 in Binondo, Divisoria and Quiapo in Manila; Guadalupe Shopping Center and Makati Cinema Square in Makati; Starmall Alabang in Muntinlupa City; and the Baclaran Terminal Plaza Mall.

Among the items that the groups procured were "Beauty Girl Ginseng and Green Cucumber," "Beauty Girl Olive and Sheep Essence," "Dr. Bai," "Jiao Li 7-Days Eliminating Freckle AB Set," "Jiao Li 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day and Night Set," "Jiaoli Huichusu," "Jiaoli Huichusu Whitening Speckles Removal Cream," "Jiaoli Miraculous Cream," "JJJ Magic Spot Removing Cream," and "S’Zitang."

Lucero noted the products were among the first two batches of skin lightening products banned and ordered seized by the FDA based on Circular 2010-002 and 2010-004 issued last January 8 and February 18, 2010.

The ban was based on the findings that the products exceeded the agency’s "allowable limit" for mercury of 1 part per million (ppm), thus posing "imminent danger or injury to the consuming public".

"Our latest test buys only underscore the need for firm and strict law enforcement in order to protect Filipino consumers from mercury exposure in personal care products," Lucero said.

Violators will be fined from P50,000 to P500,000 and/or their establishment would be padlocked.


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