Toxic Watchdog group lauds FDA for the issuances of public health warning against unauthorized SLPs

Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics lauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Philippines for issuing the FDA Advisory No. 2023-1951 – a Public Health Warning against the purchase and use of unauthorized C.A Capadosa Botox Whitening Day and Night Cream SPF70 Skin Lightening Products (SLPs).

The group managed to document and purchased the C.A Capadosa Botox Whitening Day and Night Cream SPF70 being sold for P100.00 each in a shopping mall in Pasay City. The cosmetic product is manufactured in the Philippines with a label indicated: approved and certified by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry.

BAN Toxics reported the findings to the FDA’s Center for Cosmetic and Household/ Urban Hazardous Substances Regulation and Research (CCHUHSRR) for verification and regulatory action.

On September 7, the FDA issued a warning to the public from purchasing and using unauthorized cosmetic products. The product was verified through post-marketing surveillance and shows no valid Certificate of Product Notification (CPN). According to RA 9711, the manufacture, importation, exportation, sale, offering for sale, distribution, transfer, non-consumer use, promotion, advertising, or sponsorship of any health product without proper authorization from the FDA is prohibited.

“We laud the Food and Drug Administration for issuing public health warnings against unnotified cosmetic products to prevent potential hazards from the ingredients that are not allowed such as toxic mercury,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner, BAN Toxics.

BAN Toxics has been active in conducting market monitoring and test-buys of different skin lightening products sold in the market or online to warn the public on the unlawful selling of skin lightening products (SLPs) containing toxic mercury, a dangerous poison banned in cosmetic product formulations.

A study published by the Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) found that 129 of some 271 skin lightening products tested contain high levels of mercury. Mercury compounds are frequently added to SLPs because mercury lightens the skin by suppressing the production of melanin. SLPs have received significant attention in the scientific literature—with countless studies outlining their negative impacts on health and well-being. The World Health Organization has also recognized that mercury—added to some SLPs—is a “major public health concern.”

“Government regulators should conduct joint post-marketing surveillance and enforcement actions to prevent the manufacture and trade of unnotified and unregistered cosmetic products in the country,” the group added.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury prohibits the manufacture, import, or export of specific mercury-added products after 2020. Under this article, all cosmetic products will be required to have mercury concentration of less than 1 part per million (ppm).

The FDA further advised the public not to purchase the aforementioned violative cosmetic product. Always check if a product is notified with the FDA by using the FDA Verification Portal feature accessible at https://verification.fda.gov.ph. which may be used by typing in the name of the product before the purchase and/or using the cosmetic products. 

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