THE WHAT? Norway has issued a ban on Hindustan Unilever’s Fair & Lovely skin whitening creams due to the discovery of toxic metal mercury and hydroquinone.
THE DETAILS? The European Union issued its Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Products (Rapex) alert stating that the Advanced Multi Vitamin cream and Brightening Moisturizing Solution were banned in the country due to the inclusion of the toxic ingredients being potential health hazards and failing to comply with Cosmetic Products Regulation of Norway.
HUL is said to be investigating the possibility of the products being counterfeit. Speaking to Outlook, a HUL spokesperson said, “It might be possible that the Fair & Lovely products mentioned in the notifications from Norway could be counterfeit products and we are looking into this.
“Unilever maintains the highest standards concerning the safety and quality of its products and ensures that the products sold are safe for consumers. All Unilever products are manufactured in accordance with the best manufacturing practices and comply fully with the local and global standards such as the USFDA on trace metals like mercury.”
THE WHY? The first time a Fair & Lovely product has been banned in the European Union, the ban is thought to raise concerns regarding the regulatory system in India. HUL, however, is clear on its stance.
It stated, “Fair & Lovely only manufactures and clears for sale products that are safe for consumers. We do not use mercury or hydroquinone in any of our beauty and personal care products. Our products comply with all guidelines in India including BIS norms, and are approved by the FDA for manufacture and sale as safe cosmetics.”