[NOTE: The following is a press release from Cetaphil]
MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized 45,000 units of counterfeit skincare products during a Divisoria Mall raid last August 30. The total cost of the seized items was estimated at almost P4 million.
The move came following reports of counterfeit items sold both online and in physical retail stores nationwide. After Galderma filed a complaint, roughly 12,000 fake Cetaphil products sold at Binondo and Parañaque were also confiscated by authorities.
Photo courtesty of Cetaphil
“This puts consumer safety at risk, especially for skincare products that may cause allergic reactions and long-term health risks such as exposure to harmful ingredients often left undisclosed by illegal manufacturers,” said Edmund Jason Baranda, legal counsel for Galderma, the authorized manufacturer of Cetaphil.
Aside from branded retail products and accessories, cosmetics and skincare knockoffs are entering the market. Based on research intelligence by Galderma, fake products are manufactured both in China and locally. Besides Divisoria’s retail stalls, a facility in Parañaque was also raided for illegally manufacturing Cetaphil products.
Photo courtesty of Cetaphil
“As Cetaphil products are made especially for people with sensitive skin, the counterfeit products may cause skin irritation and flare-ups as they are not made in accordance with Galderma’s specifications," shared Baranda, adding, “The sale of counterfeit products not only affects the reputation of the brand but also potentially puts consumers’ safety at risk.”
“Galderma is committed to provide only quality products to consumers which is why we adhere to strict manufacturing protocols and quality controls. The safety of the consumers is of foremost importance to us, especially since we provide products that care for the skin. Galderma has open communication lines with its consumers so as soon as we received information about the counterfeit items, we promptly sought the assistance of the authorities for appropriate action," Baranda pointed out.
The NBI urges consumers to be more vigilant when buying items, especially from questionable sources. A cheaper price is no longer the sole indicator of an item being counterfeited. Due to similar designs as the original’s, the public is advised to look for tamper-proof signs in the packaging.
Photo courtesy of Cetaphil
To ensure the product’s authenticity, one should notice the product's odor, color, packaging and tamper-proof signs such as stickers and trade-registered marks. Before the purchase, make sure to check where it was produced, as well as its manufacturing and expiry dates. Checking the company website and overall packaging is crucial when purchasing from popular and well-established brands.
“It all starts with consumer vigilance – if a product is sold at a very cheap price, it must be too good to be true. So arm yourself with the proper information about the product or item you are buying," said NBI Intellectual Property Rights Division’s Supervising Agent Rodolfo Ignacio, Jr. who led the raid.
"As we are committed to protect consumers from counterfeit goods, it is also the consumer’s job to protect themselves by not buying knockoff items and reporting cases for proper action.” – Rappler.com