Magic Amah to consider suing over ‘toxic’ report

By Joy Lee, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Magic Amah, a household cleaning product manufacturer, said yesterday that it will consider suing the Homemakers United Foundation (HUF) for damaging the company’s reputation by accusing it of supplying tainted detergent.

The HUF recently published a test conducted by News & Market on 35 brand-name detergents that claimed antiseptic and anti-mildew properties, and a detergent made by Magic Amah was discovered to contain the substance permethrin, a pesticide used on crops and in wide-area applications such as plant nurseries and sod farms. Tsai Tsung-yang, chairman of Magic Amah, said that the HUF’s claims that permethrin as a type of pesticide was misleading.

“Permethrin is not a pesticide,” said Tsai. “Instead, it is a substance added to pesticide.”

“Permethrin is not listed to be regulated as toxicant substance in Taiwan and is also approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for pharmaceutical use as a pediculicide for the treatment of head lice and scabies,” said Tsai.

According to Tsai, the HUF should not compare agricultural produce to detergent products because the amount of permethrin residue left in the laundry is very low.

“Magic Amah is also a victim in this incident, but the company understands that consumers should not suffer with the company,” said Tsai. “Therefore, before anything regarding this scandal can be confirmed, Magic Amah will take all three questionable products off shelves and also provide full refunds and free returns because the company wants to protect consumers.”

According to Tsai, so far around 500 products have been returned and the company has lost around NT$14 million since the HUF claimed Magic Amah’s detergent was tainted.

Tsai said that consumers can bring receipts or detergent products to any retail outlet for full refunds by the end of Jan. 30, 2014. We Revealed a Truth: HUF

Huang Chia-lin of the HUF said yesterday that the foundation only revealed a truth and it did not base the experiment on any standards.

Huang said that there are many usages for permethrin, but it has never been added to detergent products before.

“In the previous press conference, the foundation did mention that permethrin is used in fabrics as a mothproofing agent, but people did not know that it is added inside detergent products as well,” said Huang. “Therefore, the foundation only wants to reveal all the information for consumers.”

“I also want to clarify that the foundation never compared the regulated amount of pesticide residue for agricultural produces to the amount of residue of detergent products. We just provided the information for consumers’ reference,” said Huang.

Huang said that the public should focus on the fact that the government does not have any laws to regulate the amount of permethrin that can be added into products as well as what substances can be added into detergents to function as antiseptic and anti-mildew agents.