Order sealing of health care goods: PIL

A public interest litigation (PIL) has urged the Bombay high court to direct the government and local authorities to issue guidelines so as to ensure that cosmetic goods, personal hygiene products, skin and hair care creams and lotions are sealed before being sold in the Indian market.
The PIL said that currently such products are sold without seal and this results in contamination or adulteration of the goods which is harmful to the health of the consumer.
Use of contaminated or adulterated products can cause skin irritation and rashes or other health hazards, which should be prevented in consumer interest, the PIL, filed by advocate Geetanjali Dutta, contended.
The petitioner said that a leading multinational company had in a letter replied that sealing of cosmetic products is not a mandatory requirement of India and hence it was not following the procedure to seal the goods before selling them in the market.
The PIL, to come up for hearing tomorrow before a bench headed by chief justice, said the shopkeepers very often use the contents of the products in order to demonstrate them to the consumers and in the process they run the risk of contamination. This is very harmful to the health of people.
Not just this, most of the time the weight or volumes of the contents of the goods are not found to be equivalent to the quantity mentioned on the packet or tube because they are not sealed. The possibility of tampering is thus not ruled out, the petitioner argued.
The petitioner said she had written letters to several multinational companies to check whether they were sealing the products and found that this practice was not being followed because it was not compulsory.
The PIL prayed that public health department, legal meteorology (weights and measures) and food and civil supplies and consumer protection departments of Maharashtra government may be asked to issue guidelines to ensure that such products are sealed by the companies before being sold in the market.
The petition enclosed opinion of doctors and experts to support the contention that such products should be sealed.

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