The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of Maharashtra has found "Fair & Lovely advanced multivitamin expert fairness solution" to be a substandard product, with its "microbial count" and "yeast and mould count" far exceeding the limit.
The Indian Express reported today that the "microbial count" and "yeast and mould count" should not be more than 1,000 colony forming units (CFU) per gram and 100 CFU per gram, respectively. The newspaper further reported that Maharashtra FDA had found the "microbial count" in Fair & Lovely to be 3,37,532.10 CFU per gram and the "yeast and mould count" to be 2,94,196.3 CFU per gram.
Fair & Lovely, a product of Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), has annual sales of more than ₹2,000 crore in India.
The sample which the Maharashtra FDA tested was from a cosmetics store in Bhoiwada lane of Mumbai. The organisation now has to establish whether the tested sample was a fake or whether it is actually what the company is selling in stores.
Maharashtra FDA commissioner Harshdeep Kamble told The Indian Express that a company is required to keep a "controlled sample" for every batch that is sent into the market. Kamble told the newspaper that the FDA had already reached out to HUL to get the controlled sample in order to make a comparison. "Then we would be in a position whether it is the same sample or it is a duplicate one. So, after that we will take action," he said.
Denying having received any notice from the FDA, an HUL spokesperson told IE, "We have robust internal checks and controls to ensure that our products meet the prescribed quality standards."
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