« 企業の税金逃れ 実効性ある国際課税ルールを | トップページ | TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ »

2013年7月27日 (土)

「美白」トラブル 相談情報を軽視していないか

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 27, 2013
Kanebo’s disregard for complaints behind rampant cosmetics harm
「美白」トラブル 相談情報を軽視していないか(7月26日付・読売社説)

A series of cases have been reported in which users of skin whitening products manufactured and sold by Kanebo Cosmetics Inc. suffered white blotches and uneven skin tones.

Such complaints have been filed by more than 6,800 people. Of these, 2,250 users have reportedly experienced relatively serious side effects as they developed white spots in more than three areas.

Kanebo must accept a heavy responsibility for having worsened the scale of harm done. The firm must determine the cause of the problems promptly and take all possible measures to compensate for damage.

The case was brought to light after a dermatologist reported to Kanebo in May that “three patients who used [Kanebo’s] whitening products have developed white blotches on their skin.”

Inadequate response

Kanebo embarked on a fact-finding survey but it took nearly two months for the firm to start recalling its whitening products on a voluntary basis. In the meantime, the company did not provide any warnings to consumers.

It is natural that Hisa Anan, director general of the Consumer Affairs Agency, criticized the firm, saying it “should have made the issue public much sooner.”

The firm’s past response to consumers’ requests for consultations was also inadequate. After reviewing prior consultation cases, the firm found that 39 complaints similar to the recent ones had been made since 2011.

The employees who received such inquiries did not properly log the information as damage caused by products because the staff “attributed [the problems] to the users’ particular physiological characteristics.”

This allegedly occurred because there were no previous incidences of white blotches caused by cosmetics.

Erroneous assessment of initial complaints, it can be said, led to the current extent of affected users.

No system was in place to promptly detect and analyze consumer inquiries and work out countermeasures accordingly.

Reexamine safety measures

The skin whitening products in question contain ingredients developed by Kanebo that it claims are effective in preventing dark spots and freckles.

No instances of white blotches were reported in tests conducted when Kanebo filed for approval of the ingredients with the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry as effective quasi-drug substances.

Nevertheless, there is always the possibility that an unforeseen problem could emerge once a product is put on the market and used by many people. We cannot help but judge that Kanebo was naive about safety precautions as a cosmetics maker.

Many consumers use two or more beauty products, including lotions, that contain the same ingredients more than once a day. Unlike drugs, appropriate usage amounts are not clearly mentioned on cosmetic labels.
This could be partly to blame for the escalated number of recent cases.

Amid the rise of the skin whitening trend, sales of whitening products accounted for about 200 billion yen of total cosmetics sales of slightly more than 2 trillion yen.

Makers have been engaged in fierce competition to develop more effective products to meet consumers’ needs.

All cosmetics manufacturers should learn a lesson from the Kanebo incident and reexamine their safety measures and contingency plans.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 26, 2013)
(2013年7月26日01時18分  読売新聞)


« 企業の税金逃れ 実効性ある国際課税ルールを | トップページ | TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ »





« 企業の税金逃れ 実効性ある国際課税ルールを | トップページ | TPP交渉参加 攻守両にらみ戦略で挽回せよ »