By  on August 10, 2012

Safety fears about cosmetics have helped drive sales of natural and organic products over the past decade in many markets. China is no exception, as health scares in numerous sectors—including beauty and food—can have dramatic effects on business. Bawang International is a case in point.

The Chinese group’s sales continued their downward spiral last year after press reports in 2010 alleged that its core Bawang shampoo line contained dangerous levels of dioxane, a purportedly cancer-causing chemical. The company, which generated 97.5 percent of its business domestically, saw beauty revenues nosedive a massive 51.6 percent to CNy 656.5 million, or $101.6 million at average exchange, de- spite Bawang avidly defending its products and taking legal action against the claims’ original publisher, Hong Kong–based Next Magazine.

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