After a meeting with Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) officials, Amazon and Flipkart will prevent the sales of ‘unregulated and fake cosmetics’, reports Mint. The ecommerce companies were served show cause notices last month for allegedly selling “spurious and adulterated” cosmetic products.

At the time, the platforms had 10 days to respond, failing which, there would be penal action “offering for sale, sale and distribution of spurious, adulterated cosmetics and cosmetics manufactured without valid license in contravention of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940”.

The notice followed DCGI’s raids across the country on October 5-6. Cosmetics worth Rs 4 crore were seized for containing products classified harmful for human health across 8 cities. The intelligence cell of the central Drugs Standard Control Organisation identified distributors of the illegally imported products and manufacturers of unlicensed cosmetics.

MediaNama has reached out to the DCGI, Amazon and Flipkart for a comment and will update this when we hear from them.

Cosmetics sold online need to follow BIS

The drug regulator told senior executives from Amazon and Flipkart to stop such sales or face stringent action, including a formal police complaint. They were also sell only those cosmetics which follow Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

  • The companies have also been asked to provide information about sellers, like the license number of the cosmetic seller, name of the importer and the validity of their license, on the platforms.
  • Dr S Eswara Reddy, DCGI told the Mint, “they have been told to start correcting their system. They are going to delete all such products from their sites and are also going to have different agreements with sellers to prevent sale of fake cosmetics.”

Snapdeal and Shopclues have faced this before

  • Back in 2015, the Maharashtra state government filed an FIR against Shopclues for selling emergency contraceptives and Viagra. The products were then pulled off of the Snapdeal website.
  • The same year, the Maharashtra FDA filed an FIR against Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl and the company’s directors for selling prescription drugs on the e-commerce marketplace. The regulator reasoned that only authorized entities such as doctors, or license chemists could sell products like Viagra and emergency contraceptives which were available on Snapdeal.
  • A little earlier that year, Snapdeal and a Chennai-based seller Ohmysecrets.com were taken to court for selling vibrators and abetting gay sex and exhibiting obscene products. It was alleged that the sale of products such as anal lubes and massagers that are shaped like the male phallus violate Section 377 of the IPC. Back then, Snapdeal and Ohmysecrets.com pulled down the products.