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FDA Issues Public Health Warning against Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream

Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream
XRF screening reveals mercury concentrations way above the 1 ppm limit under the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive

(Watchdog group urges business compliance to FDA’s advisory)

Quezon City. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an advisory against the purchase and use of unauthorized Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream, which is being offered for sale without a valid certificate of product notification.

“This is the third variant of Pakistan-made Goree that the agency has banned for lacking market authorization and/or for containing toxic mercury,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. In 2017, the FDA banned Goree Beauty Cream with Lycopene and Goree Day & Night Whitening Cream, which were tested and found to contain mercury. “We appeal to importers, distributors and retailers, including online sellers, to stop the illegal trade of these dangerous cosmetics, and for consumers to discontinue using them and for local authorities to help in enforcing FDA’s directives.”

Issued on November 21, 2023 and posted on the agency’s website on December 5, FDA Advisory No. 2023-2392 warned consumers that Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream has not complied with the mandatory notification process and that “the use of such a violative product may pose health risks to consumers.”

As shown in the advisory, the product is sold online, particularly in Shopee.

Last October 15, the EcoWaste Coalition alerted the FDA about the illegal sale of Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream after detecting mercury on two units of the said product that it obtained for P155 each from an online dealer in Shopee.

Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream

“To alert consumers against the harm that may result from the use of this unauthorized cosmetic with mercury, we respectfully request the FDA to please issue a corresponding public health warning against the purchase and use of Goree Gold 24K Beauty Cream,” the toxics watchdog group wrote to the FDA.

Based on the group’s screening performed using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, the Pakistan-made facial cream contained 25,240 to 25,700 parts per million (ppm) of mercury.

The ASEAN Cosmetic Directive (ACD) lists mercury, a highly toxic chemical, among the substances not allowed in cosmetic product formulations and sets a threshold limit of 1 ppm.

“Adverse health effects of the inorganic mercury contained in skin lightening creams and soaps include: kidney damage, skin rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, reduction in the skin’s resistance to bacterial and fungal infections, anxiety, depression, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Mercury in these cosmetics is eventually discharged into waste water. “The mercury then enters the environment, where it becomes methylated and can enter the food chain as highly toxic methylmercury in fish,” the WHO said.

“Pregnant women who consume fish containing methylmercury can transfer the mercury to their fetuses, which can result in neurodevelopmental deficits in the children,” it further said.

To avoid mercury exposure, as well as to stop polluting the environment, the EcoWaste Coalition urged consumers to embrace their natural skin tone, stressing “every skin tone is beautiful,” and to shun chemical whiteners containing mercury and other hazardous substances like hydroquinone.


References:

https://www.fda.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/FDA-Advisory-No.2023-2392.pdf
https://www.fda.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/FDA-Advisory-No.-2017-289.pdf
https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/330015/WHO-CED-PHE-EPE-19.13-eng.pdf?sequence=1

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.
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