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Philippines FDA issues draft GHS rules for cosmetics

By Michelle Yeomans , 05-Feb-2013

The Philippines Food and Drug Administration has issued a draft administrative order to outline the application, classification and labeling requirements of cosmetic products and other chemicals.

The draft has been issued for consultation and states that the final 'Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals' (GHS) Order will apply to all consumer products and household hazardous chemicals which fall under the remit of the FDA's ministry, the Department of Health.

According to that draft, “pharmaceuticals, food additives, cosmetics and pesticide residues in food are not covered by the GHS in terms of labeling at the point of intentional intake” but that these types of chemicals “are covered where workers may be exposed, and in transport if potential exposure warrants”.

New rules

The new rules will apply requirements for safety data sheets and labeling which will be based on the fourth revised edition of the GHS, which was published in 2011, and will be updated “in the event of updated information published by the UN GHS Committee”.

Applicable to “all importers, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors”, the provisions will be phased out over a seven-year period and according to the administration, within two years of the date when the final Order comes into effect, they must be applied to the 48 substances included on the Priority Chemicals List or covered by a Chemical Control Order.

To keep an eye out for the outcome of this draft up for consulation, please see here .

Philippines FDA under pressure

Of late, the administration has been under pressure to tighten up its regulatory standards from Environmental watchdog, the EcoWaste Coalition, after it discovered first hand that cosmetics containing mercury were still available over the counter, despite being banned in the region.

Out of 50 brands of skin whitening creams that the FDA has so far banned for containing excessive levels of mercury across the board, the Coalition still managed to buy over a dozen in several test buys conducted in the last year.

As a result of its findings, EcoWaste sent a letter to new FDA chief, Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, highlighting the continued sale of cosmetics containing mercury, while proposing that the FDA either initiate or back a 'Brown is Beautiful' campaign that will promote acceptance and pride in natural skin tone.

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