|Japan’s Kanebo sold tainted cream despite recall
Japanese cosmetics company Kanebo admitted it continued shipping products blamed for causing skin blotches, for a week after deciding to recall them from overseas markets including Hog Kong, saying it wanted to avoid causing “confusion.’’
Kanebo decided to recall tainted products on June 28. Managers at the parent company Kao endorsed their decision on July 2, a Kanebo spokesman said.
But the recall, involving almost 4.75 million products, was not announced until July 4, meaning the company kept shipping tainted cosmetics for almost a week after it first decided to take them off the shelves.
The delayed action “could have increased the number of customers affected,’’ said the official, who declined to be named, AFP reports.
“In the meantime, however, we were establishing call centres and making other preparations,'' he said.
“Otherwise we could cause confusion among customers... Concerns among customers could get worse if we were not properly prepared to answer their questions.''
Kanebo announced a recall of 54 of its products that contained a substance called 4HPB, a synthetic version of a natural compound, developed by the company.
It said it would pay medical costs for any customers who had been left with uneven colouring of their skin, which in some cases continued after they stopped using the products.
As of August 25 a total of 8,678 consumers in Japan had been confirmed to have suffered blotches after using creams such as “Blanchir Superior.’’ In overseas markets 65 were affected, according to Kanebo.
Kanebo's recall affects Japan, Britain and 10 Asian territories – Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam.