China Gets Tougher on Cosmetic Claims

Chinese cosmetic producers are to be banned from exaggerating the effects of their products with wording like "100 percent effective" or "removes freckles instantly," according to a report by China Daily. The Ministry of Health is reportedly seeking submissions on a draft regulation on the management of cosmetic labels and directions, which orders authentic and scientific product descriptions.

The draft regulation prohibits cosmetics from carrying exaggerated or misleading labels and directions, especially those indicating supposed medical advantages or curative effects. It also bans medical terms and claims on the specific effectiveness rate of products, such as numbers of "successful cases" or rating effectiveness in percentage terms.

Cosmetics are classified as cleansing, deodorant, skin care, makeup and other grooming products and are banned from being promoted with misleading functions, the draft says, according to the report. Hair dying, hair growth, depilatory and deodorant products must carry cautions about the conditions and methods of use and possible adverse reactions on their labels and directions, while other products must carry precautions when conditions require.

The draft also is said to encourage producers to add the warnings: "Some people may have an allergic reaction to this product. Stop use if it causes discomfort." It currently does not elaborate on the details regarding penalties that producers will face if they violate the regulation.

The ministry will accept submissions until May 20, 2007, and consider amendments. It is unknown when the regulation will be issued.

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