The Ministry of Health’s Food and Drug Administration Department (FDA) laboratory has found that nine varieties of unregistered cosmetics for face lotions and creams, exported from Thailand, contain banned chemicals. In response to these findings, authorities began performing search and seizure operations, says Dr. Min Win Aung of Myawaddy Township’s Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department
“We [provide] education to local markets and stores selling those make-up and face lotions about how they (cosmetics containing banned chemicals) can harm people. We also request [vendors and store owners] provide their signatures [signifying they will not] sell the products again. But there is no arresting them yet,” said Dr. Min Win Aung.
Cosmetics containing the banned chemicals are reported to cause skin cancer and itchy reactions.
According to Karen State’s Health Department, cosmetics containing banned chemicals include Mellano Cream No. 1 (7g), Mellano Night Cream No. 2 (7g), Mellano Facial Nourishing Cream No. 3 (7g), Polla Gold-Super White Perfects Cream (10g), Polla Anti-Melasma Cream (New Night Cream) (5g), Polla Platinum Crystal White Nourishing Face Cream (10g), Baschi-Day Cream (Whitening Cream) (5ml), Baschi-Night Cream (Whitening Cream) (5lm), and Nineteen Nano 19-Whitening Nano Night Repair Cream.
In a search led by senior doctors in Myawaddy District, police and health department officials, the town development committee, Immigration and National Registration Department, and other respective departments identified and seized the fake cosmetics.
“The price of those face creams is around 30-40 [Thai] baht, or 1000 [Myanmar] kyats. Because using them can whiten our faces, we, women, [like them],” said Mi Yin Chai, resident of Myawaddy Town, located on the Burmese side of the Thai-Burma border.
Mi Yin Chai also notes that some women who apply these creams and make-up develop spots and itchy skin on their faces.
Although the packaging of these illegal cosmetics depicts logos and company names, they are not registered, and such logos and companies cannot be found in an internet search.
These products, as well as other goods such as instant food, fast food, junk food, bread, cakes and snacks are imported from neighboring countries and are sold at markets for reasonable prices.