Trading Standards warning: Steer clear of dangerous skin products and unlicensed medicines on sale in Hackney

Obaaku in Ridley Road, photo credit Emma Bartholomew

Obaaku in Ridley Road, photo credit Emma Bartholomew - Credit: Archant

Illegal prescription drugs and skin lightening products Caro Light, Skin Light and Rapid Clair were found on sale at Obaako in Ridley Road

Trading Standards officers have issued a warning about unsafe skin products and unlicensed medicines being sold in Hackney.

During a visit to Obaako in Ridley Road in January, officers confiscated illegal prescription drugs including Penicillin, Ampicillin and Amoxicillin as well as illegal skin lightening products Caro Light, Skin Light and Rapid Clair.

It is illegal to sell these prescription drugs without a licence and purchasing unlicensed medicines over the counter without medical advice constitutes a potential health risk.

Meanwhile skin lightening products contain dangerous banned substances including hydroquinone which has been illegal since 2001.


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It works by suppressing the skin’s production of melanin, and can cause serious side effects.

Short-term symptoms include extremely itchy skin and skin burning, which often leads to significant scarring, while long-term use damages internal organs and can result in liver and kidney failure.

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The council has sent a list of all the items seized from the premises to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which brings criminal prosecutions against suspects involved in illegal activities concerning medicines.

Anyone found guilty of breaching the The Human Medicines Regulations 2012 can receive a maximum two year prison sentence and/or an unlimited fine.

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