FDA to ban carcinogenic estrogen in cosmetic

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Food and Drug Administration announced on Sunday it would ban certain components of estrogen - estradiol, estrone and ethinyl estradiol - in cosmetics and personal care products, effective in May.

The FDA earlier announced it would impose the ban starting July, but head of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), Chiang Been-huang, previously vowed the ministry would speed up the ban, previously set to take effect in July, after suggestions from lawmakers.

The FDA stated after announcing the bill that cosmetic producers would require passing an examination to retrieve a special permit.

Any producing, distributing or selling of products that contain the components of estrogen may result in a fine up to NT$150,000 (S$6400) or a fixed-term sentence of up to one year, the FDA stated.

The policy follows recent bans on estrogen in cosmetics by governments worldwide.

The EU, the United States, Canada and ASEAN nations have introduced restrictions on the substance due to concerns that it may cause cancer and contribute to pollution, according to FDA researchers.

The World Health Organisation categorizes cancer-causing agents under four levels of risk.

Estrogen was listed under the highest in 2012.