Burma’s Health Ministry Deems Thai Cosmetic Products ‘Unfit for Use’

By Tin Htet Paing 12 February 2016

RANGOON — Products of a popular Thai cosmetics brand were found to be “unfit for use,” according to an official announcement by Burma’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

“Two products of ‘Forever Young’ cosmetics were found to contain prohibited chemical ingredients that can harm people’s health and [we] announce that these two products are unfit for use,” the statement read.

The two products in question are the “Facial cell boosting mask” and the “White active radiance” day cream, according to the statement, which were found to contain Clobetasol propionate, a topical steroid used to treat various skin disorders.

Clobetasol propionate, which can be found in some skin whitening products, is banned in several countries as an ingredient in cosmetics due to potentially harmful side effects.

‘Forever Young’ cosmetics are produced in Thailand and its local distributor took to Facebook on Wednesday to affirm that the two products hold an official certificate issued by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, dated October 5 last year.

“An announcement that has been spread online which stated that two products of Forever Young cosmetics were found unfit for use, has no official endorsement or signature by respective authorized officials,” the post reads.

However, the deputy director of Burma’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Tun Lin Aung, told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that the statement was “official” and that the health ministry would soon run the announcement in state-run media.

The local distributor denied the products contained Clobetasol propionate in the Facebook post this week, and claimed the brand had a presence inside the country for three years.

Tun Lin Aung said his department had received many complaints from Forever Young’s consumers and that no certificate or distribution license had been issued to the company.

In Wednesday’s announcement, the health ministry ordered retailers to stop selling the products and cited Burma’s 1972 Public Health Law that authorizes authorities to destroy harmful goods.