FAKE products are harmful to our skin and health. They contain harmful chemicals, such as arsenic, mercury and lead. According to a report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), trade in counterfeit products has increased in the last few years, even as overall trade volume stagnated, and now stands at 33 per cent of global trade.
Additionally, these products are usually sold at unusual places, like train stations.
In Pakistan, such products are produced by small local manufacturers who are unauthorised and do not follow standard protocols. According to research, Pakistanis spend about 4pc of household expenditure on cosmetics and personal care products, like creams, soaps, hair dye, henna and lipstick, every year.
However, fake cosmetics contain chemicals that cause cancer, acne, eczema and several other health issues. According to experts, henna, a popular skin dye in Pakistan, was found to have oxalic acid, sodium picramate, titanium, dioxide and nickel, which cause allergic reaction and damage body organs.
The government should immediately ban companies that manufacture counterfeit products. Besides, we, the people, should stop buying these fake items by checking the barcodes, which is a great way of determining whether the product is fake or otherwise.
Asima Lal Baloch
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2023