Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition scored tiangge stalls at a shopping mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City for selling contraband goods that have been banned by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to protect the public health.
Last Sunday, the group found beauty and health product stalls at Ever Gotesco Commonwealth Center selling FDA-proscribed items such as skin whitening cosmetics, slimming and anti-obesity products and a type of cure-all herbal drink – all with no market authorization from the FDA.
The group had posted photos of the errant stalls at http://ecowastecoalition.blogspot.com
“We find the unrestrained sale of FDA-banned products by tiangge vendors in the shopping mall very disturbing and should be halted at once,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“The mall management cannot turn a blind eye to this appalling trade of smuggled products that could cause serious harm to consumer health,” he emphasized.
“They can avoid being tagged as a silent accomplice in such illegal trade by taking immediate action,” he emphasized.
Among the banned products being offered for sale at the tiangge stalls were Jiaoli and S’zitang skin whitening facial creams, Leisure Burn Body Fat Orange Juice and several other types of slimming coffee and juice, and Sehat Badan herbal drink.
Jiaoli and S’zitang were banned for containing toxic mercury; Leisure and dozens of slimming juice and coffee products were banned for containing unauthorized substances such as sibutramine, which may increase the risk of heart attack or stroke; and Sehat Badan was banned for containing diclofenac sodium, ibuprofen and paracetamol.
To curb the illegal trade, the group urged the mall management to instruct their tenants to comply with the directives issued by the FDA and desist from selling cosmetics, food supplements, medicines and weight-loss products that are not notified or registered with the FDA.
“If the stall owners choose to ignore such instruction, the mall management has the option of canceling the lease or rental agreement and reporting the stall’s non-compliance to law enforcement agencies,” Dizon said.
The EcoWaste Coalition also requested the Quezon City Health Department to undertake necessary activities that will support the implementation of FDA’s directives in their area of jurisdiction, including disseminating health warnings to stakeholders and conducting regular surveillance in both formal and informal markets.