WARNING NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC ON THE RECALL OF PURITY ESSENTIALS BABY POWDER PRODUCT

 

The COMESA Competition Commission (the “Commission”) hereby notifies the general public that Tiger Brands Limited, South Africa, (herein referred to as “Tiger Brands”), has recalled certain batches of its PURITY Essentials Baby Powder product. This follows a detection of trace levels of asbestos in test samples from a batch of pharmaceutical-grade talc powder used as raw material in the production of the finished powder products.

Various studies have established that talc powder contaminated with asbestos causes cancer, including the following:

  1. The International Agency for Research in Cancer, which falls under the World Health Organization classifies the perineal (genital) use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.
  2. Steffen, J.E., et al., 2020 a study on serous ovarian cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and fibrous talc in cosmetic talc powders established that eight out of 10 cases included asbestos.
  3. Johnson, K.E., et al., 2020, a study on analytic comparison of talc in commercially available baby powder and pelvic tissues resected from ovarian carcinoma patients established that talc particles in the baby powder were similar in sizes and shapes to talc particles in resected tissue and that talcum powder could migrate deep inside the uterus, increasing the ovarian cancer risk.

Tiger Brands has indicated that the recall is precautionary as the raw material with the detected trace levels of asbestos did not meet the company’s quality and safety standards. However, the general public should be informed that the recall does not affect Purity Essentials Baby Cornstarch Powder or any other Baby Care products under the Purity brand.

The specific batches of the recalled baby powder are listed in the table below:

Product Description Weight Barcode
1. Purity Essentials Baby Powder/
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Essentials Baby Powder
100g 6009523601859
2. Purity Essentials Baby Powder /
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Essentials Baby Powder
200g 6009523601866
3. Purity Essentials Baby Powder /
Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Essentials Baby Powder
400g 6009523601828
4. Purity & Elizabeth Anne’s Fresh Baby Powder 400g 6009523604515

Further details regarding the product recall can be accessed through the following link:

Tiger Brands | Purity | Essentials Baby Powder

 

The Commission has established from Tiger Brands that the recalled products are sold within the Common Market, specifically in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eswatini, Seychelles, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Pursuant to Article 30(1)(b) of the COMESA Competition Regulations (“the Regulations”), the Commission therefore wishes to inform the general public to exercise caution and avoid the purchase or consumption of the above recalled products, and return them to the point of purchase for a refund from Tiger Brands.

The Commission further wishes to advise any person who purchased and/ or consumed the product and is unable to secure a refund or compensation, or who establishes that the recalled product is being sold in other countries of the Common Market, to report the matter to the Commission on +265 (0) 1 772466 or contact the undersigned on mdisasa@comesa.int; or Mr. Steven Kamukama, Manager Consumer Welfare and Advocacy Division on skamukama@comesa.int. Affected persons may also contact their national consumer protection institutions or any other body with the mandate on consumer protection in their countries.

The Commission commends Tiger Brands for the proactive and cautious approach it has taken and wishes that other suppliers of consumer products act in a similar manner to ensure the health and safety of consumers is guaranteed.

 

Meti Demissie Disasa

Registrar

COMESA Competition Commission

5th Floor, Kang’ombe House

P.O. Box 30742, Lilongwe 3, Malawi

Office Phone: +265 (0) 1 772466

Email: compcom@comesa.int

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