Two products in controversial cosmetics tycoon Hasmiza Othman's Qu Puteh product line has been banned in neighbouring Brunei for allegedly containing a harmful substance.
As reported by English daily The Brunei Times , the Brunei Ministry of Health has ordered a halt to the sale of the Qu Puteh Kosmetik Whitening Pro 9 cream and Qu Puteh Kosmetik Whitening UV Block.
The ministry announced this yesterday after tests done by the Drug Quality Control Section of the Brunei Department of Pharmaceutical Services, found it to contain a prohibited substance.
The two Qu Puteh products allegedly contained mercury, a substance which is said to cause adverse effects and is potentially hazardous to users.
A potent ingredient often used in various products, mercury is however prohibited for use in cosmetics products in Brunei as per Medicines (Cosmetic Products) Regulations 2007.
The daily's report stated that mercury exposure can cause rashes, memory loss, muscle weakness and damage to the brain and kidneys. Mercury is also toxic to unborn children.
As of now, the report said, Qu Puteh products are not to be imported and sold in the sultanate, with the ministry advising customers to stop using the product and to consult a medical professional if they are experiencing adverse affects.
Brunei authorities have urged all retailers, including online storefronts to cease all sales of the affected products as it is an offence under its regulations to import and market cosmetic products without a cosmetic product notification acknowledgement Letter.
The Brunei public are told to report any infractions to the Pharmacy Enforcement Section. Traders who flaunt the law may face a fine of not more than RM15,000, up to two years in jail, or both.
The Qu Puteh cosmetics line has gained both fame and infamy in Malaysia not for its ingredients content, but for the antics of owner Hasmiza, better known as Datuk Vida, who recently courted controversy for her extravagant demands over the sponsorships of several TV shows and the Kelantan Qu Puteh Pamoga Red Warriors football team.
In a statement released today, the Malaysian Health Department has also banned the Qu Puteh Kosmetik Whitening Pro 9, also for its mercury content.
As at press time Malaysiakini is awaiting a response from Hasmiza over the matter.