labels: food and drug administration, marketing - general
FDA targets more companies for lapses against consumer interestnews
15 April 2005

Mumbai: After hauling up Johnson &Johnson, Wipro, Emami and Wipro Consumer Care among others, the Maharsahtra Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has now turned the heat on Reckitt Benckiser for its Harpic toilet cleaner brand and Delhi-based personal care company Ozone Ayurvedics

In the case of Reckitt & Benckiser the Maharashtra FDA says the company needs to posses a drug licence for its toilet cleaner brand Harpic as the product contains certain ingredients, which classify it as a drug.

FDA officials said tests conducted on the Harpic brand, which is sold as a disinfectant and powerful toilet cleanser showed that the product contains chemicals that would classify it under drugs. They said that since the company does not possess a drug license the FDA has issued notice to them.

Ozone Ayurvedics a Delhi-based firm has also come under the Maharashtra FDA's scanner and the authority has asked the company for certain clarifications from the ayurvedic company. FDA officials said tests done to assess the advertorial claims by Ozone Ayurvedics manufacturer of the 'No Mark' range of personal care products revealed that the company has been making misleading claims about the No Marks cream being an ayurvedic soap having anti-bacterial, blood circulation enhancing abilities.

The company has been given two days to submit related documents about its products.

In the recent past, the Maharashtra FDA has been taking a number of consumer goods companies to task on various consumer related issues. In January this year the authority cancelled the licences of gutka manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers in the entire state of Maharashtra after it found that the gutka and paan masala sold contained material magnesium carbonate a carcinogen.

The Maharashtra FDA's other targets have been food companies and drug retail shops. The regulatory authority picked up samples of Britannia bread from retail shops in South Mumbai, following consumer complaints that the manufacturing date printed on the cover was that of the next day. The authority instructed Parag Engineering Products, the facility that manufactured the faulty bread samples to stop production.

Last month the FDA also raided retail shops and seized Rs3-lakh worth of medicines, including ayurvedic medicines for slimming, diabetes and hair-dyes. Some of the products seized included Wondar Slim Herbal, Wondar Slim Ayurvedic, K.P.R.Diabetic Powder, RS Hair Care, Mind Power granules etc.

FDA officials said the advertisements of some of these products claimed to people slim in 15 days or cure a person of diabetes in a month. Further the product claims had no medical evidence.

The authority also found that the products which were manufactured in Madhya Pradesh (MP), were being manufactured under a fake license and a Hyderabad-based company Ramson Multibrands was marketing these products.

Other actions of the FDA included seizing Rs16,000 worth of ghee with a fake label of Aarey Ghee, which is a State Government enterprise.

The most high profile so far has been the notices sent to Johnson & Johnson and Wipro for their respective "baby" oils containing mineral oil, believed to be unfit for babies.

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FDA targets more companies for lapses against consumer interest