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May 30, 2017

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Whitening products blackened by gripes

TAIPEI -- Sales of 19 skin-whitening products produced by Japanese cosmetics maker Kanebo (佳麗寶) were suspended in Taiwan yesterday following complaints from customers in Japan that white patches appeared on their skin after using the products.

The Taiwanese distributor's move followed a decision that same day by its parent company, reported by Agence France-Presse, to recall the products from the entire Asia region because of fears that they could cause white patches and uneven coloring.

The products all contain Rhododendrol, or 4-HPB, a substance developed by Kanebo that the company said has been approved by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The recall, involving 54 products totaling 450,000 items, was initiated after 39 people in Japan had reported the symptoms since May, according to the Japanese company.

The sales suspended by the Taiwanese distributor include products in the Blanchir Superior series and those in the Impress series.

Of the Blanchir Superior series, Taiwan has been importing White Deep Clear Conditioner, White Deep Milky Conditioner and White Deep Night Conditioner since 2011.

Sales of Impress IC White Lotion, Impress IC White Emulsion, Impress IC White Fit Mask 3D and Impress Granmula Lotion were also suspended.

Taiwan has imported 100,000 items of such products since 2011, but there have been no reports of irritation from users, according to the Department of Health.

The local distributor said customers could return these products in return for merchandise of equal value until Aug. 10 and stressed that the sales were being suspended only to allay customer concerns and not because the products were problematic.

Major local department stores, including Shinkong Mitsukoshi, Pacific SOGO and Far Eastern, said earlier in the day that they had pulled the products in question from their shelves.

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