The EcoWaste Coalition commended the Quezon City Health Department and the Ever Gotesco Commonwealth Center for taking action to curb the sale of banned products that can put consumer health at risk.
In response to the complaint lodged by the watchdog group, Quezon City health personnel inspected six exhibition booths at the said mall on July 20, and confiscated items banned by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and those sold without market authorization.
The EcoWaste Coalition alerted the mall management about the illegal sale through a letter sent on July 14, with photos of the contraband goods on store shelves attached as evidence.
In their follow-up letter to the mall management on July 20, the EcoWaste Coalition said: “please ensure that the products are properly confiscated and disposed of so that the same do not re-enter
the retail market again.”
“We laud the joint effort by the QC health department and the mall management that led to the seizure of contraband goods, many of which can cause life-threatening damage to health,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
“We hope that other shopping facilities will follow suit and join forces with our food and drug regulators and health advocates to ensure that only safe and duly registered products are sold within their premises,” he said.
Last Monday, Quezon City food and drugs regulation officers with assistance from the mall management through Assistant Mall Operations Manager Francisco Tan and Mall Detachment Commander SO Pepito Tañon conducted the inspection that netted five boxes of prohibited goods.
Among the items seized were illegal herbal medicines, skin whitening cosmetics and slimming products, including banned mercury-containing Jiaoli and S’zitang facial creams, Sehat Badan herbal drink, Leisure Burn Body Fat Orange Juice and other weight-loss products.
In her report, food and drug regulation officer Jeanette Dacanay advised the mall management “to have a proper protocol regarding products to be sold by their (concessionaires) to undergo inspection.”
According to Tañon, the exhibitors were duly reminded not to engage in selling items prohibited by the FDA, “but such advice was not seriously considered” resulting to the confiscation of the illegal products.
“The product confiscation should serve as a clear warning against unscrupulous traders who continue to defy FDA’s product advisories and health warnings,” Dizon said.