Pakistan plans crackdown on toxic cosmetic products

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ISLAMABAD: The government has planned a crackdown on production, marketing and sale of toxic cosmetic products over complaints about the use of mercury in beauty creams and the skin problems caused by them among women, The News reported on Saturday.

The crackdown would be launched especially against skin whitening creams after December.

According to State Minister For Climate Change Zartaj Gul, the ministry will conduct a workshop to be attended by skin experts and CEOs of the national and international brands to advocate the phasing out of mercury from cosmetic products before the imposition of a ban on the marketing of those products.

The government had no plan to shut down the cosmetic industry, she said, adding that the authorities have instead planned the elimination of toxic cosmetic products from the market and protection of the industry overall.

Last month, the Punjab government had approved the Punjab Drug Amendment Bill 2020 to ensure that the production of cosmetics is at par with international standards.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had said that the provincial cabinet has approved the Punjab Drug Amendment Bill in the wider interest of the people.

He had said that those who manufacture and sell counterfeit cosmetics are playing with the health of the people and lamented that the “mafia” that manufactures and sells counterfeit cosmetics operated without fear of reproach.

The chief minister went on to say that it was due to the dereliction of the concerned institutions in the past that the people were robbed of their health and money.

Stressing that the amendment bill would ensure the manufacture of cosmetics in accordance with international standards, Buzdar said that now beauty products would be free from ingredients that cause cancer, allergies, and skin diseases.

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