After the controversy surrounding the Johnson & Johnson baby oil, the Government is likely to make it mandatory for manufacturers of cosmetics such as lipsticks, soaps, fairness creams, beauty oils and shaving products to adhere to new labelling norms.
The Drugs Consultative Committee, comprising regulators from various States, has decided to include labelling of ingredients on cosmetic products under the labelling provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules.
Cosmetic products will now have to mention the ingredients on the labels in descending order.
The controversy broke out in Mumbai recently when the authorities challenged claims such as `ideal massage for your baby' and `daily massage has clinically shown to benefit overall growth and development' made by companies, which may not have been fully authenticated.
It was also decided that imported cosmetics have to be registered.
"While registration requirements are already in place for import of any drug in the country, there are, at present, no similar requirements for import of cosmetics.
"The move to include cosmetics has been initiated to ensure that the labelling and quality/safety profile is in conformity with the provisions under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act," said an official statement.
Currently, companies such as Procter & Gamble, Gillette, L'Oreal, Revlon and Amway import premium cosmetic products into the country.
The recent mishaps surrounding implant of defective medical devices, causing serious health implications, have also led to the Drugs Consultative Committee to recommend bringing medical devices under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
As of now, there is no separate regulation to control the manufacturing and marketing of medical devices in the country. "However, under Section 3(b)(iv) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, the Central Government has scope to regulate medical devices, as may be appropriate, from time to time. The meeting has decided to bring all `sterile medical devices' under this Section," said the statement.
The two-day meeting of the State Drug Controllers also decided to include statutory provisions relating to Good Laboratory Practices under the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945. A committee under Dr R.A. Mashelkar had recommended that the rules should be amended to include Good Laboratory Practices norms as statutory requirements for approved testing laboratories and in-house testing laboratories of manufacturers.