An Australian retailer has been forced to cancel its opening in Sydney after the Federal Government ordered the retailer to stop selling sunscreen, facial masks and other face care products, citing the potential health risks.
The company said it would also remove its online and mobile stores from the market after a health advisory committee said the products could be linked to an increase in the risk of melanoma.
“We have been advised that the Australian Government may require us to stop sales of certain products in Sydney and Melbourne,” Nestle Australia general manager, Mark Jones, said in a statement.
“The company is considering the advice.”
The Australian Government’s Health Advisory Committee (HAC) is expected to recommend that Nestle end its Australian operations in 2020, after a review of the safety of the products.
It said Nestle was “not a fit and proper person” to operate in Australia.
“It’s a decision that will impact our business, our suppliers and the consumers we serve,” Nestlé Australia general counsel, Chris Fagan, said.
“Nestle’s decision reflects the urgent need to ensure we have the best possible protection against skin cancer and related diseases.”
Nestlé’s Sydney store will reopen on February 27, 2020.
(Supplied: Nestlé Sydney)A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the department had not yet received the report but it would take “appropriate action”.
“Norton and Safer Skin will be working closely with Nestle to review the advisory committee report and make decisions as appropriate,” the department said.
Nestel said in its statement that the HAC had made a number of recommendations.
Health Minister Jill Hennessy said the Government would make “immediate” decisions.
“As part of the review, Nestle has committed to reducing the number of products it sells in Australia by 30 per cent over the next five years,” Ms Hennessys statement said.
The Health Department said it had received “very significant” evidence of the risks of certain facial and body care products linked to melanoma, including sunscreen, face masks and body creams.
“In response to the Hac report, Nestlé has made significant changes to its operations, and is undertaking a review to address the issues raised in the report,” the spokesperson said.
In January, Nestel and Safelab were fined $2.3 million by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over claims the products were “misleading and deceptive”.
“We will continue to work with the Australian Federal Government to make the right decisions for the future of our business,” Nestel said.