Qatari ban on two shampoo variants has not been lifted as discussions with company continue

July 23, 2010

A Qatari ban on two international shampoo variants has not been lifted as the local authorities are discussing the issue with a delegation from the manufacturing company.

Qatari media reported that a high-level delegation from Procter & Gamble Arabian Peninsula (P&G) on Thursday failed to convince Qatari officials that P&G’s banned shampoo brands met the quality standards set by the country.

Unnamed sources told The Peninsula that data provided by Qatari officials related to the results of tests on the banned products that found that they contained “very, very marginal” levels of 1,4-dioxane, a chemical that can cause cancer, beyond the permissible limits.

Qatari authorities said the decision to recall the two Head & Shoulders variants (Lively & Silky and Shine) must be strictly followed by all shops. “The ban is still in place”, Dr Mohammed Saif Al Kuwari, head of labs at the Ministry of Environment, said in a text message sent to The Peninsula.

However, a Procter & Gamble source told the newspaper that they were confident they would convince the Qatari authorities about their shampoo standards.

“As a precautionary measure we are withdrawing the two variants of shampoo from the shelves for the time being. We are confident of convincing the Qatari officials about the globally-accepted quality standards of our products in the next round of discussions”, a Procter & Gamble source told The Peninsula.

P&G said that in its meeting with Qatari officials it provided an assurance about the safety of its Head & Shoulders products as well as other products sold under its various brands.

“We are very pleased with the results of the meeting, which we feel has been a real success in reassuring the Qatari authorities over the safety of our P&G products,” said Yassin Attas, External Relations Director, P&G Arabian Peninsula, said. “Furthermore, we have successfully collaborated with the government in order to meet the safety standards set by Qatari regulations, thus ensuring that we will continue to uphold the high standards that we have always maintained regarding the quality and safety of our products.”

During the meeting, P&G presented evidence that it conducts rigorous testing on all raw materials and finished products, and agreed to do further testing to ensure that its products, including the two Head & Shoulders variants in question, meet GCC safety standards, which are strongly influenced by European safety directives, Attas said.

In addition, the P&G and Qatari regulators agreed upon a process to resolve the current confusion and misinformation regarding trace levels of the chemical 1,4-dioxane present in cosmetic products, he said.

“Procter & Gamble works closely with suppliers to control and monitor levels of 1,4-dioxane in key ingredients to be sure that they are well below recognised safe levels and are in compliance with all national and global regulations. All P&G products undergo stringent safety testing and evaluation before being released in the market. Furthermore, the company continually monitors the safety and use of its products even when they are out in the market,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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