8 April 2016
Bangkok – Foundation for Consumers sent a letter to Central Plaza Westgate regarding the sale of toy cosmetic that expired 2 years ago.
Narumon Mekborisut, head of the Center for Consumer Rights at Foundation for Consumers, said she received a complaint from a customer who had bought Barbie toy make-up set from Central Plaza Westgate as a present for her daughter. She bought it at a discounted price of 995 baht (from the full price of 1,900 baht).
“The consumer did not think she had to worry about checking the product because she was buying it from a big department store. However, when she opened the package she found that the make-up set was manufactured on 10 January 2012 and should be used by January 2014. She immediately put it away but did not file any complaint at the time because she was not sure which organization was overseeing the product – which could be a toy or cosmetic.”
“Our own investigation found the product’s advertisement on Youtube claiming to be make-up product for children. However, there is no cosmetic control label from the FDA. Only an industrial standard label was found on the side of the package.”
“According to Cosmetics Act (2015), imported cosmetics must be registered with the FDA. Failure to do so results in a fine of up to 20,000 baht. As for expired products, importers can face a maximum fine of 50,000 baht.”
“The big question here is: how can this product, which was imported in August 2015 after it had expired in January 2014, be registered by relevant agencies?”
According to Narumon, FFC has sent a letter to Central Plaza Westgate, asking for their responsibility towards consumers. FFC is also waiting for the answer from the FDA regarding the categorization of the product, as well as an answer from the Office of the Consumer Protection Board regarding their move on the discrepancy between the Thai and English language message on the product label. FFC also informed the Thai Industrial Standard Institute of the matter regarding product standards.
Narumon said, “In the mean time, parents need to carefully check manufacturing/expiry dates as well as the overall package before buying these products for their children to prevent them from exposure to dangerous chemicals. They can contact relevant agencies or Foundation for Consumers if they encounter suspicious products.”
By Sasiwan Parinyart and Smart Sarovat, Foundation for Consumers (FFC)