Watchdog Slams Sale of Banned Mercury-Tainted Cosmetics in Ongpin and Carriedo

Quezon City. A chemical safety watchdog deplored the continued sale of Chinese cosmetics that were recently recalled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for containing high levels of mercury, a highly toxic metal.

As the International Women’s Day is observed in the Philippines and across the globe, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the FDA to launch an all-out campaign to rid the market of hazardous personal care products that can expose women to harmful chemicals and cause adverse health consequences.

In a letter faxed today to the office of FDA Director Nazarita T. Tacandong, the EcoWaste Coalition alerted the authorities that banned mercury-laced cosmetics imported from China are still on sale in Binondo and Quiapo shops.

“Our investigation shows that the mercury-tainted beauty products are being sold in Ongpin and Carriedo in brazen disregard of the FDA recall and seizure orders,” said Aileen Lucero of the EcoWaste Coaltion’s Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats).

“As a woman and a mother, I find it deeply disturbing to witness with my own eyes how these harmful products are being offered to uninformed women consumers in the name of fairer and flawless skin complexion,” she said.

“We appeal to the FDA to work even harder to rid the market of toxic products and ensure that the consumer right to information and safety from hazardous goods is genuinely upheld,” Lucero emphasized.

The FDA issued last month two consecutive orders banning Chinese-made facial creams and skin whitening creams containing mercury “that clearly pose imminent danger or injury to the consuming public.”

FDA banned Jiaoli Miraculous Cream, Jiaoli Huichusu Special Cut Genuine and Jiaoli 2+17 Days Clearing Facial Spots Suit under Circular 2010-002 issued on February 9.

Under Circular 2010-004 dated February 18, the FDA banned Jiao Li Huichusu Whitening Speckles Removal Cream, Xin Jiao Li 7-Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream, Jiao Li 10-Days Eliminating Freckle Day & Night Set, Jiao Li 7-Days Eliminating Freckle AB Set, Jiao Liang Miraculous Cream, Xin Jiao Liang 7-Days Miracle Package for Spots Refining, Jiao Mei Miraculous Cream, Jiao Li Extra Pearl Facial Cream, and Jiao Yan Specific Miraculous Cream.

Last Sunday, EcoWaste Coalition and Save Babies Coalition volunteers organized a public awareness activity in Binondo to inform consumers about the health hazards posed by toxic beauty products and handed out leaflets encouraging retailers and buyers not to sell, buy or use
mercury-contaminated cosmetics.

According to the EcoWaste Coalition, there is no reason for cosmetic manufacturers to use toxic chemicals such as mercury in their products and threaten human as well as ecological health.

“It is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure that their products will not expose their women customers to toxic chemicals that can lead to serious health problems both for the mother and her child. We therefore appeal to them to produce only non-toxic products,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.