Monaco health authorities have seized more than 2,000 jars of face cream and health products containing human placenta from a stand at an anti-ageing fair in the Riviera principality.
Inspectors swooped on the stand at the Aesthetic and Anti-Aging World Congress in Monaco last week after reports that the “illegal” products were selling like hotcakes.
The products are now in the hands of prosecutors who are investigating how they were able to be sold in the tiny principality.
French daily Nice-Matin was the first to spot the stand, where representatives of the Japan Bio Products Company, JBP, were selling a range of products purporting to contain “human placenta extract”- from face creams to gel, vials for injection and dietary supplements.
Among these was a cream called Curacen Essence, whose makers claim sparks “immediate cell reactivation along with a nice whitening and improvement of skin glow”.
When asked, company representatives reportedly told the paper it was “perfectly legal in Europe” to sell such products, made from placenta extract “exclusively from Japanese donors”.
Their brochures, which laud the supposedly rejuvenating qualities of the placenta known to Cleopatra and Marie-Antoinette, said that the products had undergone rigorous quality controls.
Donors were tested for HIV, hepatitis and syphilis. They also had to swear they hadn’t spent more than a day in Britain or France since 1980.
Such products are legal in Japan.
However, the sale of human biological substances is totally forbidden under EU law, which Monaco is obliged to respect.
“They were in different forms – lots of dietary supplements, products for injection, creams, vials for drinking. They claim these products restore youth or health,” said Alexandre Bordero, head of Monaco’s “sanitary action” wing of the health ministry.
However, he said the sales reps “were not very honest, because they had hidden a lot of them”.
Later that day, Nice-Matin reported that the stand was back in business and doing a roaring trade, with small jars selling for €80 (£70) each.
Inspectors returned and had to push past sales reps who had “barred entry” to their stock cupboard, eventually carting off 2,300 jars and other products.
He said that the illegal products had entered France via Orly airport in packages claiming to contain flyers, brochures for the congress, and were thus not checked.
“They were wrongly labelled otherwise they would have been confiscated,” he told the Telegraph.
Mr Bordero said the company would not be allowed to come back and that there would be a “judicial follow-up” to the case.
JPB claims to be the world’s leading company in placenta products and has distributors around the world, including in Spain.
Originally published by Henry Samuel at The Telegraph
Tags: Aesthetic and Anti-Aging World Congress, anti-ageing congress, Cleopatra, cream, Curacen Essence, human placenta, Japan Bio Products Company, JBP, Marie Antoinette, Monaco, placenta, Police, seize