Drugs control body seizes illegal cosmetics in 8 cities
A team of 150 officials of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) raided 30 locations in eight cities over the course of two days, making seizures of cosmetic items and registering FIRs against people involved in import and manufacture of these “illegal” products.
In the raids, conducted on October 5 and 6, illegal goods worth Rs 4 crore were seized, an official said.
“New generation of cosmetics like stem cell based cosmetics, serums, skin whitening creams, Glutathione injections, hyaluronic acid filler injections etc are being marketed without evaluating their safety and quality,” a statement issued by the drug controller said.
CDSCO is the regulatory authority under the Union health ministry’s directorate general of health services.
Its intelligence wing had carried out studies on the “latest trends in the marketing of cosmetics” to find that in the absence of licenses being mandatory for cosmetics, their sales and distribution system has evolved over time and, in the process, also become difficult to track as much of their presence is online.
“The advent of e-marketing has made things easy. The intelligence cell, after tracking various sources online and offline, identified various distributors of illegal imports and manufacturers of spurious and unlicensed cosmetics manufacturers.
“Several of the cosmetics contained ingredients which are not permitted for use on humans,” the statement said.
A senior health ministry official said the products that have been seized are derived from human stem cell and are sold as beauty enhancing products and/or as solution for hair loss.
These products, however, remain illegal for use in India, the official pointed out.
Cosmetics business has been expanding in India. Aggressive marketing and entry of multinational companies has further fuelled their growth. However, monitoring these products for their safety and quality has remained an issue.
The CDSCO raided locations in Kolkata, Delhi, Patna, Mumbai, Pune, Mehsana, Chandigarh and Chennai, an official said, adding they have registered five FIRs.
The seized products will be deposited in courts and prosecution will be initiated against those involved, who as of now remain unidentified, the official added.
“The public is cautioned to purchase cosmetics only from verified dealers and e-commerce sites,” the drug regulator advised in its statement.