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Amazon, Flipkart get notice for allegedly selling spurious and adulterated cosmetics

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The country’s drug regulator DCGI has issued a notice to E-commerce giants including Amazon and Flipkart for allegedly selling spurious and adulterated cosmetics. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has also warned Amazon and Flipkart of penal actions in case they fail to respond within 10 days.

According to a notice from the DCGI, on October 5- 6, drug inspectors raided various locations across the country. During the raids, the drug inspectors found that some indigenously manufactured cosmetics were being sold on e-commerce platforms without valid manufacturing licence and having ingredients imported without necessary registration certificates.

Illegal cosmetics estimated to be worth Rs 4 crore were seized during pan-India raids carried out after which the central drug regulator lodged five FIRs across three cities — Mumbai, Pune and Delhi — against manufacturers who were making these cosmetics without licence.

Asking the companies to reply to its notice within 10 days, the DGCI has warned them of penal action for ‘offering for sale, sale and distribution of spurious, adulterated cosmetics and cosmetics manufactured without valid licence in contravention of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940’.

“In case, you fail to submit the reply within the stipulated period, it will be presumed that you have no reply to offer and appropriate action as deemed fit will be initiated against you,” DCGI S Eswara Reddy said in the notice.

Reddy further said, “A similar notice was also issued to the Indiamart and another e-commerce website.” Asserting that the raids revealed the extent of illegal cosmetics in the market, Reddy also cautioned against the purchase of such products.

Reactions from Flipkart and Indiamart were not immediately available. On the other hand, when contacted, an Amazon India spokesperson told PTI that the company takes strict action against sellers of ‘illegal or fake products’ as and when such incidents are reported to it.

“Amazon.in 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 compliance, as may be applicable. Amazon.in has a very high bar of customer experience and does take strict action against sellers who are selling illegal or fake products…in accordance with the due process of law, as and when such incidents are reported to us,” the spokesperson said.

Under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, it is mandatory to get a registration certificate for import of cosmetics into India, while all cosmetics manufactured in the country need to have a valid licence. Besides, cosmetics thus manufactured need to conform to the standards laid down by the BIS and cannot have any ingredient mentioned in its negative list.

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