By  on August 7, 2013

TOKYO — Kanebo Cosmetics has blamed internal inadequacies at the company for its recent product recall and said it is taking steps to prevent similar types of problems in the future.

Last month Kanebo, recalled over 50 skincare products in Japan containing quasi-drug ingredient and whitening agent Rhododenol. Some consumers using the products had complained about white blotches appearing on their skin, Kanebo said.

"Kanebo Cosmetics believes that the increase in the number of people who have experienced vitiligo-like symptoms has stemmed, in large part, from the company's inadequate ability to listen to the voices and opinions of our customers and experts, to draw appropriate conclusions from those voices, and to respond promptly to concerns," Japan's second-largest cosmetics company said Wednesday.

In the wake of the recall, Kanebo has been working with the Japanese Dermatological Association in order to help affected customers recover from their symptoms. Kanebo said Wednesday it is restructuring its internal organization to strengthen its safety standards and quality control functions. On August 12, Kanebo will merge its quality control divisions and customer consultation center into the respective departments at its parent company Kao Corp.

Kanebo also said that two independent lawyers are investigating how the situation arose and whether or not the company "properly handled information it received from consumers, doctors, and Kanebo employees with regard to the affected products." The attorneys will report their findings in early September, Kanebo said.

Kao said last week that costs related to the recall bit into its first-half profit and forced it to cut its full-year earnings forecast.
Kao said its net income for the six months ended June 30 fell 5.1 percent to 18.26 billion yen, or $185.2 million at an exchange rate provided by the company.

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