EcoWaste Coalition Commends Quezon City’s Action Against Unauthorized Health Products

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September 18, 2022, Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition commended the government of Quezon City for its latest action to enforce laws and regulations to protect consumers from adulterated, unregistered, or mislabeled health products, including mercury-contaminated cosmetics.

The watchdog group specifically cited the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) headed by the officer in charge, Dr. Esperanza Anita Esca.noto-Arias for ordering its Food and Drug Regulatory Officers (FDRO) to inspect stores selling health products such as cosmetics and drugs.

“We commend the Quezon City government for monitoring business compliance with product safety laws and regulations and for confiscating items that may endanger consumer health,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator. , EcoWaste Coalition. “Sustained market surveillance and enforcement will help stop substandard and unsafe products from flowing into the marketplace and thereby protect consumers from dangerous goods and unfair trade practices.”

In accordance with the mission orders signed by Dr. Arias, the assigned FDROs recently inspected the cosmetics and dietary supplement stores operating in the premises of Anson Square, Ever Commonwealth, Farmers Plaza, Robinsons Novaliches and Shopwise Cubao.

The inspections were conducted to verify the stores’ compliance with regulations pertaining to the sale of health products under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Act (RA 9711), Pharmacy Act of the Philippines (RA 10918), Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs (RA 8203), Consumer Act of the Philippines (RA 7394), and Quezon City Ordinance 2767-2018 prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of skin whitening cosmetics containing mercury .

The FDRO has “packaged, sealed and countersigned” confiscated non-compliant health products, including products with incomplete labeling information or labeled in a foreign language, products without valid notification or registration, over-the-counter drugs and prescription, and FDA-warned health products.

Copies of the investigation reports and relevant photos were provided by the QCHD to the Quezon City Business Permits and Licenses Department “for immediate legal action” and to the various centers under the FDA “for further investigation and for the proper disposal of unregistered products”. Copies were also given to the QCHD-Environmental Sanitation Division, mall administrators and the EcoWaste Coalition.

It will be recalled that the EcoWaste Coalition wrote to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and Dr. Arias on August 22 to report the illegal sale of FDA-banned mercury-containing skin whitening cosmetics in at least 10 stores in violation of Quezon City Ordinance 2767. 2018.

Previously, the group toured stores on August 18 to educate sellers about the dangers of mercury in skin lightening products, on the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. , which, among other provisions, will phase out in 2020 the manufacture, import or export of cosmetics containing mercury.

“We hope that other local authorities will take inspiration from Quezon City, as well as Baguio City, and take law enforcement action to protect their constituents, especially women of childbearing age, from the products of non-compliant health products such as mercury-contaminated cosmetics and the like,” Lucero added.

On July 20, the Baguio City Government, in conjunction with the FDA’s Regional Enforcement Unit, North Luzon Cluster, conducted synchronized inventory and seizure operations targeting cosmetics containing Mercury in response to the report filed by the EcoWaste Coalition on July 1.

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