KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22, 2016:
The Qu Puteh Whitening Pro 9 beauty product has been confirmed to contain mercury by the Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau.
In stating this, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the product’s notification had been cancelled and the company had been asked to cease selling and supplying the said product immediately.
The company, Vida Beauty Sdn Bhd has also been asked to recall all physical stocks of the product currently in the market within 72 hours.
This comes after Brunei announced that it had banned two of Vida Beauty’s products, Qu Puteh Whitening Pro 9 cream and Qu Puteh Whitening UV Block for allegedly containing mercury.
“The ministry’s National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau has received reports of adverse reactions from consumers who experienced tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hair loss after using the Qu Puteh Whitening Pro 9 and QU Puteh Whitening UV Block (NOT151106645K) for about three months.
“The bureau has sampled and tested both products and test results indicated that Qu Puteh Whitening Pro 9 contains a high level of mercury.
“Product notification for Qu Puteh Whitening Pro 9 has been cancelled and the company responsible has been instructed to discontinue the sale and supply with immediate effect.
“The company has been given 72 hours to recall the product from the market,” he said in a statement here today.
Noor Hisham added that mercury was added to cosmetic products for skin whitening and anti-ageing treatments such as for freckles, wrinkles and uneven skin.
He said cosmetic products must not contain mercury as it was harmful to health and could cause damage to the kidneys and nervous system.
Mercury could also disrupt brain development of infants or babies yet to be born, he said.
He advised anyone those in possession of the above products to stop selling, distributing or using them immediately and sellers were reminded that possession of these products violated the Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations 1984.
An individual who commits an offence under these Regulations is liable to a fine not exceeding RM25,000 or imprisonment not exceeding three years or both for a first offence and a fine not exceeding RM50,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or both for subsequent offences.
A company found guilty could be fined up to RM50,000 for the first offence and a fine of up to RM100,000 for a subsequent offence, he said.
Consumers are advised to report to the bureau if they experience any side effects when using certain cosmetic products by calling 03-78018496 / 78835532 or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
They should also seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Vida Beauty and the Qu Puteh cosmetic line is owned by businesswoman Datuk Seri Dr Hasmiza Osman, more commonly known as Dato Vida.