Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Apr 21, 2005
Marketing - Standards & Benchmarks
Government - Policy
Strict penal provisions planned to make baby products safe
New Delhi , April 20
THE Government plans to make the penal provisions in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act more stringent to ensure safety of baby products.
In a reply to supplementary questions during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha, the Health Minister, Dr Anbumani Ramadoss, said: "We are concerned about baby cosmetics.... By mid this year, we will hold deliberations with all the States to incorporate strict penal provisions in the Act."
He further added that the Government would bring about a change in the labelling pattern so that companies become liable to mention all the ingredients in their products. "Last year, the companies were asked to mention the main ingredients; by later this year, it would become mandatory for them to mention all the ingredients," he said.
The Minister said under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act a set of standards had been framed. Under these guidelines, only the chemicals, minerals or oils mentioned under this Act would be allowed to be used as ingredients in baby products.
He said liquid paraffin and mineral oil are permissible, and the Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration has not mentioned about any carcinogenic substance in its report when notices were issued to six companies.
In the case of Johnson & Johnson, the Government has sought an explanation from the company on the usage of `baby' in its cosmetic products. "In that claim, it is partly mentioned that some of these baby oils are clinically proven for the growth of the babies. This is not mentioned in the same oil manufactured in Western countries or developed countries. This is what the Commissioner was particular about," he added
The Government has warned Sun Pharma and Dabur India Ltd against promoting Letrozole as a treatment of infertility in Indian women. The warning was issued after the Health Ministry received reports of use of Letrozole by some gynaecologists for the treatment of infertility based on internationally published reports in medical journals about its usefulness in inducing ovulation.
Replying to a written question in the Lok Sabha, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ms Panabaka Lakshmi, said that Letrozole, approved in the country as first and second line therapy for breast cancer, is manufactured by a few companies. She said the issue was examined by the Health Ministry in consultation with experts.
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