By Analou De Vera
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reiterated its warning against the purchase of a skin-whitening product, tainted with high levels of mercury, after receiving reports that it is still being made available online.
FDA director general Nela Charade Puno said Goree products, which are found with high mercury level, can can cause kidney and skin damage, skin discoloration, scarring, among others.
Puno said they already issued a public advisory last year against Goree products to warn the public against its possible harmful effects.
"We have issued a public advisory against Goree and similar mercury-laden beauty products to all law-enforcement agencies and local government units in October last year," Puno said.
"But online syndicates continue to smuggle and sold them locally, leaving the consumers vulnerable especially when they have complaints about the sold goods," she added.
Retired Police Gen. Allen Bantolo, chief of FDA Regulatory Enforcement Unit, said they received reports of customers who burned their skin or had allergies while using Goree and similar unregistered beauty and whitening products.
He said some of the victims had filed cases in court.
Last week, the authorities swooped down on two warehouses in Cavite province and seized more than P5.9 million worth of unregistered beauty and health products, Bantolo said.