Banned beauty products still being sold, group warnsBy Miko Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A toxic chemicals watch group has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack the whip on traders in Baclaran who continue to sell cosmetic products which have been banned by the government agency after these were found to contain harmful amounts of mercury.
In a statement, EcoWaste Coalition said that it had reported to the FDA that it has found out that five banned skin whitening products continue to be sold by businessmen in the area.
“Unless and until the FDA has shown it means business in combating this illegal trade, the sale of these dangerous products will not cease,” said Manny Calonzo, Ecowaste Coalition officer in charge.
“It’s high time for unscrupulous traders to face the strong arm of the law for selling hazardous products laced with mercury,” he added.
According to Calonzo, his group sent an e-mail Sunday on the matter to FDA chief
Nicolas Lutero III after Ecowaste members went around the Baclaran Terminal Plaza on Saturday.
The group’s AlerToxic Patrol, which monitors the presence of harmful material in consumer products, noticed that some of the banned skin whitening creams were being “openly sold at the mall.”
The items were among the 50 products the FDA had banned since last year after it found out that these contained mercury in excess of the allowable limit of one part per million.
Calonzo said that their team of monitors saw the following items being sold at the mall: Jiaoli Miraculous Cream; Jiaoli 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set; Miss Beauty Excellent Therapy Whitening Cream (gold, blue and purple color); Miss Beauty Excellent Therapy Whitening Cream (gold, brown and old rose color), and S’Zitang.
In its letter to Lutero, Eco-Waste asked the agency to immediately send government monitors to the mall and confiscate the banned products, as well as issue notices of violations to stall owners who would be caught red-handed selling the prohibited items.
They also suggested that the FDA enter into an agreement with administrators of Baclaran Terminal Plaza to ensure their cooperation in the agency’s fight against the sale of banned products.
Although very popular among Filipinos who want to make their skin fairer, the use of whitening soaps and skin lightening creams which contain harmful amounts of mercury can damage the user’s kidneys and skin, according to the World Health Organization.