A Birmingham store was ordered to pay a total of £6,171 after pleading guilty to nine offences under the Cosmetic Products Enforcement Regulations 2013 at Birmingham Magistrates Court today (4 September 2015).
Maaz Supermarket Ltd, based at 229-233 Witton Road, Aston, was fined £2,450 and ordered to pay costs of £3,686.55p and a £35 victim surcharge.
Birmingham City Council brought the case against the company after Trading Standards officers seized more than 300 items, including cosmetic products which were not labelled properly or contained banned ingredients, during an inspection on 12 June 2014.
Samples of several seized products were tested at the council’s laboratories and results showed Stillman’s Skin Bleach Cream contained mercury (2.5 per cent) while KalaKola Hair Tonic contained levels of lead (one per cent).
Both mercury and lead are prohibited for use in cosmetics as they are very toxic. Mercury used in skin lightening products may cause rashes, skin discoloration and scarring, while lead, once absorbed, can damage the brain, nervous system, kidneys and reproductive system. It can cause problems in pregnancy leading to learning and behaviour problems in young children.
A range of other products – including Zubeda and Nandra Cone henna, Stillman’s Freckle Cream and Arche Pearl Cream – were seized for failing to comply with labelling requirements. In some cases ingredients were not listed correctly or no durability dates were given.
Officers first visited the supermarket on 27 July 2011 for a routine inspection, when they found some cosmetic products failed to comply with labelling requirements of the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008. The store was ordered to remove all non-compliant products and guidance notes were given to the business to enable future compliance.
However, when officers returned to the store on 12 June 2014, for another routine inspection, they found a range of non-compliant products still on the shelves.
Councillor Barbara Dring, Chair of the city’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Consumers rely on cosmetic products such as hair products and skin creams being safe to use, and as such expect the labelling of ingredients to be accurate and clearly visible.
“The fact that some of these products did not list their ingredients correctly means many shoppers buying them were potentially put at risk.
“Regardless of how good a consumer wants to look they should always check the ingredients of any cosmetics, hair or skin product – otherwise they could end up with rashes, scarring or something worse – such as brain damage or reproductive problems – as an unwanted accessory.”
Maaz Supermarket was able to continue trading throughout this investigation.
Media contact: Emma Brady, Press and PR Officer on 0121 303 6969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org