Belo Medical Group may face charges over unregistered products – FDA
MANILA, Philippines – Belo Medical Group (BMG), the business empire of beauty entrepreneur Dr Vicki Belo, may face administrative and criminal charges for continued selling of unregistered cosmetic products.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Director General Nela Charade Puno said several BMG employees "face contempt or obstruction of justice charges" for allegedly refusing to allow the regulatory agency's operatives to inspect their clinic and pharmacy.
This is after the FDA operatives discovered that BMG is selling 11 skin care products without registration, through surveillance and test-buy operations at BMG's clinic in Alabang, Muntinlupa City last February 9.
The agency previously ordered BMG to pull out the products from the market.
"The Belo Medical Group's pharmacy is under [the FDA's] jurisdiction and we have legal authority to enter and inspect it, in reasonable hours and manner, by our inspectors. They can be cited for contempt or obstruction of justice for their refusal," Puno said on Wednesday, February 14.
The FDA is authorized by law to enter and inspect any establishment where drug products are manufactured, processed, packed, or held.
FDA regulatory enforcement unit chief Allen Bantolo said the following skin care products being sold by BMG are not officially registered:
- ZO Medical by Zein Obagi MD Glycoagent Exfoliation Accelerator 10% concentration
- ZO Medical by Zein Bagi Foamacleanse Gentle Foaming Cleanser for all types
- ZO Medical by Zein Obagi Oclipse Sunscreen/Primer SPF 30 Protection
- Belo Illuminating Cream Alpha Arbutin+Liquorice
- Belo Prescriptives Keralyt 2 Cream
- ZO Medical by Zein Obagi MD Melamix Skin Lightener and Blending Creme Hydroquinone USP 4%
- ZO Medical by Zein Obagi MD Melanin Skin Bleaching and Correcting Creme Hydroquinone USP 4%
- Belo Prescriptives Acne Astringent
- Belo Prescriptives Belo White
- Belo Prescriptives DLC Peeling Creme
- ZO Medical by Zein Obagi MD Cebatrol
"The manufacture, importation, selling or offering for sale of cosmetics products without FDA approval or found to contain harmful or toxic substances is in direct violation of Republic Act No. 9711, otherwise known as the FDA Act of 2009, and Republic Act No. 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines," said Puno.
She then advised the public to only buy products duly registered under the FDA.
"The consumers can look for the FDA registration number on the products' label. If they can't find those markings, we urge the public to report to us the sale and distribution of those products," said Puno.
Rappler has tried to reach BMG for comment but it has yet to reply as of posting time. – Rappler.com