THE distributor of cosmetic products sold under the Belo Essentials is moving to correct packaging that erroneously showed them containing the banned substance isobutyl paraben, stressing that they were simply mislabeled and are safe for use, a company official told The Manila Times.
In a phone interview, Jojie Dingcong of Intelligent Skin Care Inc. (ISCI) confirmed an earlier statement by the company that the products containing isobutyl paraben were simply mislabeled, and that the compound, which was banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014, had actually been removed by the manufacturer in 2009.
“Our products are totally safe, I assure you,” Dingcong said, admitting that the company was “very frustrated” that the manufacturer and the packaging supplier had not kept up with changes in the formulation.
ISCI was responding to information from environment and health watchdog EcoWaste Coalition, which found Belo Essentials products labeled as containing isobutyl paraben and other paraben compounds on store shelves around Metro Manila after July 31, the deadline the FDA and the company had agreed to have them removed.
Dingcong agreed, however, that the mislabeling was a serious concern, as consumers might be misinformed about what the products contained. In a follow-up statement emailed to The Times, ISCI explained, “Unfortunately, we were remiss in correcting the ingredient list on the packs. We recognized this, and we had from two months back, documented correspondence and meetings with the FDA on the actions to be taken to address it. The agreed action plan with the FDA was to correct the ingredient list on the packs by end-August. This has already been ongoing. As mentioned, the products do not contain isobutyl paraben; it was a labeling concern.”
The statement added, “We want to reassure our consumers and stakeholders that their safety and welfare is of utmost value to the Company. We take pride in developing our products locally, with a keen observance of world quality standards. Moving forward, we submit to be even more vigilant in ensuring that all packaging information will be developed, revised, and corrected in a timely manner.”