[February 20, 2006]

Fake goods spoil beauty industry

(The Jakarta Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)from THE JAKARTA POST -- WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2006 -- PAGE 8 Police warned consumers Tuesday that knockoff cosmetic products containing mercury had made their way into the marketplace

The Jakarta Police announced they had seized 200 boxes of cosmetic products containing the hazardous substance mercury from a small manufacturing company in the Peta Indah Selatan shop-house complex in Kalideres, West Jakarta

Employing 12 workers, the company produced fake Unilver products such as Dove skin lotion, and imitation Procter&Gamble products like Olay skin moisturizer and Head&Shoulders shampoo

Police said the company had been in operation for a year and its products had been sold in small shops around the city for some time

"Laboratory tests found the products contained mercury," Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Firman Gani said

Long-term exposure to mercury can lead to kidney damage and other serious health problems

Police had the shop-house under surveillance for a week before raiding it Monday

"We received several complaints from consumers about fake products made by the company," said a member of the team investigating the case, Adj. Sr. Comr. Sugeng Inget Rikolo

Officers detained a company official and confiscated the machines and substances used to manufacture the cosmetic products in two neighboring shop-houses

Although the packaging was almost perfect, a product development official at Unilever, Widyawati, said the knockoff products did not have registration numbers from the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency

She also said that although the packages contained lists of ingredients supposedly used in the products, those lists were probably not correct. Copyright 2006 The Jakarta Post

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