12 March 2017

Retailers Urged Not to Sell Products without FDA Market Authorization

A chemical safety and zero waste advocacy group appealed to retailers to stop selling cosmetics, food products and supplements and household pesticides that have not undergone and passed quality and safety verification procedures by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The EcoWaste Coalition likewise urged manufacturers, importers and distributors of such products to abide by the FDA registration or notification requirements ahead of the observance of the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) on March15.

WCRD is an opportunity to promote the basic rights of all consumers, demanding that those rights are respected and protected, and a chance to protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights, according to Consumers International.

“The proliferation of unregistered or unnotified products in the retail market, including online shopping, whose quality and safety cannot be guaranteed is a serious threat to public health,” stated Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.    

“We urge those responsible for placing such products on the market to stop this unlawful act, which violates the rights of consumers to product safety and to truthful product information, including their right to know the chemicals present in a product,” he said.   

The spate of public health advisories issued by the FDA against unregistered or unnotified products moved the EcoWaste Coalition to address its call for compliance to businesses and industries engaged in the production, importation, distribution and sale of such products that may pose risk to consumer health and safety.

From January 2017 to date, the FDA issued a record 50 advisories warning the consuming public against the procurement and consumption of a wide array of products, including cosmetics and personal care products, herbal products, slimming products and insect control products, without proper authorization from the agency.  

The FDA warned that consuming unregistered food products and supplements “may pose potential health hazards.”  Such products, the agency said, “should not bear any misleading, deceptive, and false claims in their labels and/or any promotional materials that will provide erroneous impression on products’ character or identity.”

As for unnotified cosmetics, “potential hazards may come from ingredients that are not allowed to be part of a cosmetic product or from the contamination of heavy metals such as mercury especially in whitening cosmetic products,” the FDA explained. 

“The use of substandard and possibly adulterated cosmetic products may result to adverse reactions including but not limited to skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock and organ failure,” the FDA warned.

With respect to unregistered household insecticides, “such products are harmful, toxic and may pose imminent danger to human and animal health.”

“The use of substandard and possibly adulterated household/urban pesticide products may result to adverse reactions including but not limited to skin irritation, itchiness, anaphylactic shock, respiratory disorders, endocrine complications, brain damage and organ failure,” it said.

“As the WCRD is observed, we also reiterate our call for consumer vigilance, which is key to preventing abuse, deceit and fraud in the marketplace,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.

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