Beware of unsafe hotel toiletriesBy Tina G. Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public that some of these products could be health hazards as many of the toiletry suppliers do not have licenses to operate.
According to acting FDA Director General Kenneth Hartigan Go, random monitoring of 102 tourist establishments showed that out of 58 suppliers, 31—or 54 percent—do not have a valid license to operate from the FDA but still continue to supply toiletries to these establishments.
The establishments monitored included hotels, resorts and tourist inns.
“These hotel toiletries are considered health products that need FDA notification, consistent with the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Cosmetic Directive Product Notification implemented by the Center for Cosmetic Regulation and Research (CCRR),” Go said in a statement on Tuesday.
Out of the 102 establishments, FDA inspectors found out that toiletries used in these hotels and resorts came from 58 suppliers.
On the average, one manufacturer/distributor supplies toiletries to at least two establishments but there is one that supplies to 21 hotels all over the country.
Twenty-one percent of suppliers even provided mislabeled products to the hotels, having no brand names and other information in their packaging.
“This may also be due to the hotels themselves repackaging the toiletries from their suppliers with hotel names, masking any information from their source,” Go said.
Without naming the hotels, Go said these establishment should be advised “to demand documentation from their suppliers” in line with FDA requirements.
Public must be vigilant
The FDA said appropriate action would be imposed on establishments found to be operating without a valid license and selling cosmetic products without informing the FDA.
“For those that are lacking a few requirements, the FDA will be (giving) them 30 working days within which to comply with FDA rules and regulations,” Go said.
Go advised the public to remain vigilant with the products they use and see in the market as well as in hotels.
The random monitoring of the tourist establishments was conducted in July.
“The monitoring was done to check the hotel toiletries in the said establishments and whether or not these products are (reported) to the FDA,” Go said.
He said the FDA mandate to ensure product safety and quality for the protection of public health had an impact on tourism as well as on trade.
“The data should aid the Department of Tourism in granting accreditation to tourist establishments,” he said.
All products that have satisfied FDA standards are listed on its website, www.fda.gov.ph, the FDA said.
Items taken home
The FDA also encouraged consumers to report products that have not passed its standards by sending an e-mail to FDA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inquiries may also be sent to email@example.com.
Among items or grooming products that some hotels and similar establishments usually provide—and which some occupants have a habit of taking home with them—are shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion, soap, toothpaste and shaving cream.
Some people take these toiletries with them either as souvenirs or for use at home or to reserve them for their next trip.
Some occupants think that since they paid for the toiletries anyway, they can take those items with them when they leave the hotel.