Aug 102013
Consumers – especially netizens – planning to buy cosmetic products should check with an online database of authorized products first.

This was the gist of the Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory 2013-021, which also exhorted consumers to buy the authorized products only from legitimate outlets.

“For protection, consumers are enjoined to access the FDA website ( to verify if a Certificate of Notification has been issued, use the SEARCH tab found in the upper right hand corner of the website,” acting FDA chief Kenneth Hartigan-Go said in Advisory 2013-021.

“Type the product name and wait until the name of the product appears.  The product name and other details will appear, namely the name of the company, the Certificate of Notification No. (NN No.), and product variants,” he said.

“All consumers are advised NEVER to buy cosmetic products that are not authorized by the FDA and to buy only from legitimate outlets.  Cosmetic products are health products that may need advice or assistance from a pharmacist or trained healthcare product provider on the proper use, a service which only a legitimate outlet can provide.  Consumers are further advised NOT to buy cosmetic products, among other health product needs, from ambulant and sidewalk vendors,” he added.

Consumers should also report adverse reactions from using a specific cosmetic product via email at, Hartigan-Go said.

For other inquiries, they can email the FDA at, he said.

Outlawed list may grow too long

Hartigan-Go said that while the FDA had released several advisories against cosmetic products that contain mercury beyond the one-part-per-million limit, the list of outlawed products may to grow too long.

Citing the list of cosmetic products already banned by the FDA, he said all cosmetic products that are imported, manufactured or distributed by unlicensed cosmetic establishments are toxic and hazardous.

All cosmetic products that do not pass the FDA safety and quality evaluation do not comply with the requirements of the Code of Good Manufacturing Practice, he added.

“Apparently, there will be more cosmetic products that will be tested to contain mercury beyond the allowable limits for as long as there are FDA-unlicensed establishments that will be manufacturing, importing/smuggling and distributing cosmetic products…,” he said.

Hartigan-Go requested local government units to remain vigilant in ensuring that all cosmetic products that are sold in their localities “are registered with the FDA and sold by legitimate outlets.”

Also, he instructed FDA field inspectors to report any violation of the FDA Act of 2009, for appropriate legal action. — LBG, GMA News

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