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Police seize 500,000 baht worth of illegal whitening cream in multiple raids

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thairath

More than 500,000 baht worth of unregistered skin whitening cream containing banned substances, an initial examination found, were seized in factory raids in Chachoengsao, Sa Kaeo, Chon Buri and Ayutthaya.

The “Cambodian cream with red cover” was advertised on social media with claims that it could whiten skin within 7 days no matter how dark the skin is. Apparently, the product has been “rampant” in the country since 2010, according to Food and Drug Administration deputy secretary-general Supattra Boonserm.

Cream tested in an initial examination contained mercury, hydroquinone, retinoic acid and steroids, which are all banned by the FDA and could cause negative health effects with prolonged use, like thinning of the skin and photosensitivity. Supattra says the products also did not have the required FDA labels or other permits.

Police arrested the alleged producers, but reports do not say how many people were allegedly involved in the operation. The suspects face charges for allegedly violating Thailand’s Cosmetic Act for allegedly making and selling cosmetic products without permission. The charges carry a punishment of up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to 50,000 baht.

Altogether in the 4 raids, police seized 1,989 jars, 523 bags of mixed cream, 30 tubes of vitamin C, 80 kilograms of raw materials and equipment used in making the cream. Police say the factories had the capacity to make up to 500 jars of cream per day.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Paul Revere

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    Lol, “Skin Whitening Cream”…and we laugh at gullible foreigners getting scammed in Thailand. Right up there with the insidious trend of going to a plastic surgeon and getting a thoroughly unnatural-looking nose and thinking it looks great. Nothing wrong NATURAL Thai beauty, skip the trends, tattoos etc.

  2. Avatar

    Mister Stretch

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    I’ve never understood the “need” to bleach your skin. I understand the sociological reasons that many cultures (including Thailand) have about darker skin, but it’s really foolish.

    No whitening creams are allowed in my house. I told the wife, long before we got married, that I found her beautiful as nature made her, and if being in the sun darkened her a bit…it didn’t bother me at all.

    I remember, long before I married, I was playing in Nana and met a woman with a face almost the color of snow, but it ended at her chin…the rest of her was a dark Isaan brown. Unsettling.

    I personally believe that societies that have this “whitening cream” fetish have a special weakness.

  3. Avatar

    Ian

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Thais are beautiful why they brainwashed to use this we live the olive skin as for ij he needs it because he’s gone totally thai

  4. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 10:51 pm

    What exactly is wrong with skin whitening?
    Nothing, it is deemed wrong so the Police can pick up fines.
    Another nasty ban the Thais invent to make money.
    Negative effects with prolonged use? Bull, that is just and excuse to ban and make money from fines.
    Prolonged use, how long?

    • Avatar

      Paco

      Friday, February 5, 2021 at 9:03 am

      Dear Tobby:
      Mercury kills all living things, and it is the worts pollutant in water.
      Come back to school, my friend.

      • Avatar

        intlbankster

        Sunday, February 7, 2021 at 4:34 pm

        And you think the govt is the right person tasked for this? LOL!!!!

  5. Avatar

    Mr cynic

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 12:20 am

    I’ve never understood this using various withening snake oils bit either?
    Throw in the straitening the nose bit and it appears to me you are trying to make yourself look a bit like a dirty smelly falang?
    Does not really add up.
    (unless your selling the crap of course)

  6. Avatar

    Alan

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 12:25 am

    White people buy sun tan in a bottle, or go to Thailand to get brown. Someone told me that brown people, black people don’t feel clean. Funny thing about people. In previous lives I was a Thai, the other night I dreamed I was Thai, dark skin, a spirit medium.

  7. Avatar

    James Pate

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 4:18 am

    The long-term health consequences mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg. Skin-whitening creams containing mercury, lead, aluminium compounds, etc. can lead to serious internal injuries or even death. I can understand how some ladies may want a remedy for blotches or uneven skin colour but attempts to change overall skin colour is just plain nuts.

  8. Avatar

    Grumpy John

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 5:44 am

    The first time I came to Thailand was with my ex-wife who was of Italian extraction. When she saw the skin whitening products in the pharmacy she was ecstatic! Needless to say we traveled back to Oz with several tubs of the stuff. Did it make a difference? Not much!

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      My friend says about his Italian Mom: “You could put her in solitary confinement with no light for 20 years and she would still be dark.”

  9. Avatar

    EdwardV

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 11:53 am

    The terms healthy tan, and pasty white come to mind.

  10. Avatar

    maxcorrigan

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    I don’t need whitening stuff, i am blessed with a beautiful white Irish skin (with a few warts)that has a mere blush of salmon pink that turns into a rather fetching shade of fire engine red at the first touch of sunshine (sarc.) other than that i would love a bit of the Thai tan!

  11. Avatar

    Jowen Yu

    Friday, February 5, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    For Thai people in general, having a fair skin signifies that you come from a wealthy family, some for the looks and beauty as they describe it and some for the trends.. not just Thailand but most of the South East Asian countries…. and that’s when someone who’s beautiful in their own way being judge by their “Tan” or darker skin comes from a poor family. Which I find very ridiculous.

    • Avatar

      Leo Z

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 4:13 am

      Correct. Except that it’s not only “SE Asian”. Whitening creams are everywhere in China too. It’s a backward mentality, no matter how one slices it.

      Here’s a quick test for how a local society evaluates “beauty” and “success”: next time you watch a Thai or Chinese TV program/movie, watch how many presenters/actors have unnaturally white skin, and how many dark skin.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Saturday, February 6, 2021 at 7:13 am

      Traditionally, yes. But that trend is changing. Some of that change is due to Thai athletes and, fitness in general. Some of my friends now say that a healthy tan means you’re at least affluent enough to have free time to swim or, play golf or tennis. Pasty white means you’re low paid office drone chained to a desk with a Vitamin D deficiency.

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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