DCGI serves notices to Amazon, Flipkart for selling ‘fake, adulterated’ cosmetics

New Delhi: Online giant e-commerce companies Amazon and Flipkart were served notices after their website was found to be selling fake, adulterated cosmetics in India.

The companies are caught in stir after many resellers on the websites were found to be selling “unregulated and fake cosmetics” under the nose of these companies, Livemint reports.

The companies in the meeting with Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on November 1 have committed to preventing the sales of “unregulated and fake cosmetics”.

Amazon and Flipkart were both served notices in October for violation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 provisions after an investigation found that some resellers on their websites were selling illegally imported beauty products.

DCGI said Amazon and Flipkart both were found to have been selling “adulterated” and “unregulated” cosmetics on their websites while products ranging from stem cell-based cosmetics, serums, skin whitening creams, glutathione injections and hyaluronic acid filler injections were illegally imported besides selling fake cosmetics containing ingredients which are not permitted for use on human.

The drug regulator directed the senior executives from Amazon and Flipkart to look into such sales or face stringent action.

The retailers selling their products on giant e-commerce websites have been asked to provide information such as the license number of the cosmetics seller, name of the importer and validity of their license.

“They have been told to start correcting their system. They are going to delete all such products from their sites and are also going to have different agreements with sellers to prevent the sale of fake cosmetics,” said S. Eswara Reddy, DCGI.

These cosmetics were being sold without checking their quality and safety said the drug regulator.

The intelligence cell of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has pinned down distributors who are illegally importing products and manufacturers making unlicensed cosmetics.

“Online retail has led to a significant increase in easy availability of unregulated cosmetics. Products like injectable cosmetics and stem cell-based therapy were found to be sold on the websites,” said an official.

The regulator body carried out sudden raids at 30 locations in eight states and seized items like mesenchymal stem cell based creams, Oral Glutathion & placenta, Glutathion injections, Hyaluronicacid injections, botulinum toxin injections, Hair serum, peels made with various ingredients, Collagen Pyruvate, Biotin hydroxin, caffeine 10%, anti hair loss solutions, Skin Peel exfoliators, etc.

“As per the Schedule S to the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, cosmetics shall conform to the standards laid down by Bureau of Indian Standards and no cosmetic shall contain any ingredient stated in negative list of BIS,” read the notice sent to these online retailers.

“It is the responsibility of an online retailer to check that whatever cosmetics they are selling…are genuine and the manufacturer or the importer should hold a valid licence. If they fail to do so, stringent action will be taken against them,” said Reddy.

Responding to the issue Amazon India spokesperson said that it is a third-party marketplace, “which enables sellers to list their products for sale to Indian customers. Sellers on Amazon.in own their respective products and are responsible for product compliances, as maybe… As an intermediary under the Information technology Act, Amazon.in does take reactive action against sellers who are selling illegal or fake products, as the case may be”.

Meanwhile, Flipkart and IndiaMart did not respond to emails seeking comment on the same.