Homeland Security Issues And Counterfeit Cosmetics Research Paper



Counterfeit cosmetics are prevalent specifically over the Internet on such websites as Ebay. These cosmetics are dangerous and cause severe problems even death among those who purchase and use these products. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is reported to be conducting an investigation of the major counterfeit cosmetic manufacturing rings that are producing and selling products reported to contain "high concentrations of various metals and carcinogenic ingredients normally banned from use in cosmetics." (Borrelli, 2013, p. 1) These ingredients when applied to the skin are reported to be such that may result in "long-term health issues." (Borrelli, 2013, p. 1) Adverse reactions to these makeups include "irritations and allergies" as well as other problems. (Borrelli, 2013, p. 1) Somosot (2014) reports that testing of counterfeit cosmetics including MAC and Chanel found these products to be "loaded with harmful lead, beryllium, aluminum and bacteria." (p.1) In addition, it is reported that the fake cosmetics "are proliferating in online retailers, flea markets, bazaars and swap meets." (Somosot, 2014, p. 1) Somosot reports that an Inside Edition investigation into the counterfeit cosmetics that were being sold on the streets and which were then tested by Upstate Labs stated findings that the "counterfeit makeup that Inside Edition bought from the street vendor had high levels of aluminum, which has reportedly been linked to Alzheimer's disease. The fake MAC eye shadows had high levels of lead." (Somosot, 2014, p.1) In addition, there were bacteria in some of the products. One consumer who purchased a fake MAC product had been "scarred for life." (Somosot, 2014, p. 1)

II. Objective Statement

The objective of this study is to determine what actions can be taken and by who to put an end to the sale of fake cosmetics in the American marketplace.

III. Alternatives Considered

Strategic planning to stop the sale of fake...


states and municipalities, and the cooperation of private organizations throughout the United States. This will require a focused approach in stopping the inflow of these fake cosmetics into the United States. The first step in implementing such strategies involves educating the various agencies, actors, and organizations. Therefore, educational programs will be designed to provide information so that knowledge will be possessed by each of these designated stakeholders in preventing the inflow of counterfeit cosmetics into the American marketplace whether the inflow is via the airlines, border inflow or inflow through Internet websites offering these counterfeit cosmetics. As well, technology can be utilized effectively to assist in this matter by assigning each authentic producer of cosmetics with registered RFID identification that is encrypted making it difficult for those producing and selling counterfeit cosmetics to duplicate. This would enable mass scanning of cosmetics with RFID scanners to enable effective and efficient checking of these cosmetics. Border security, the airlines industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with the U.S. states agencies and private organizations responsible for overseeing this effort will be equipped with the necessary scanners to check cosmetics so that they can be checked on the streets, in the form of shipments being carried by trucks and other vehicles and packages being carried by Fed-Ex, UPS or the United States Postal Service vehicles. All involved agencies, actors and organizations will be given the regulatory authority to conduct checks and validation of the cosmetics within their jurisdiction. Therefore the alternatives identified include those of: (1) education and knowledge provision; (2) technology enhanced verification; and (3)…

Sources Used in Documents:


Barker, C. (2013) Reports of Counterfeit Estee Lauder Cosmetics Grow in the Bay Area. Cosmetics Design. Retrieved from: http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Regulation-Safety/Reports-of-counterfeit-Estee-Lauder-cosmetics-grow-in-the-Bay-area

Borrelli, L. (2013) Counterfeit MAC Cosmetics May Pose Health Risk: 'It Can Break You Out, Cause Irritations, And Allergies. Medical Daily. Retrieved from: http://www.medicaldaily.com/counterfeit-mac-cosmetics-may-pose-health-risk-it-can-break-you-out-cause-irritations-and-allergies

Counterfeit Cosmetics Could Put Your Health At Risk (2014) Fox News. Retrieved from: http://www.myfoxdfw.com/story/24910331/report-counterfeit-cosmetic-could-put-your-health-at-risk

Dangerous Fakes (2014) Global Intellectual Property Center. U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved from: http://dev.theglobalipcenter.com/dangerous-fakes/
Gilbert, A. (2013) Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies - Authenticating the Global Supply Chain. Supply Chain Brain. Retrieved from: http://www.supplychainbrain.com/content/general-scm/sc-security-risk-mgmt/single-article-page/article/anti-counterfeiting-technologies-authenticating-the-global-supply-chain/
Homeland Security warns of dangerous counterfeit cosmetics (2014) Fox News. Retrieved from: http://www.myfoxaustin.com/story/24709207/homeland-security-warns-of-dangerous-counterfeit-cosmetics
New Jersey Woman Sentenced for Selling Counterfeit Cosmetics (2014) National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Retrieved from: http://www.iprcenter.gov/news-releases/ice/new-jersey-woman-sentenced-for-selling-counterfeit-cosmetics
Somosot, J. (2014) Several Counterfeit Makeup Products Tested Including MAC and Chanel: Found Loaded with Harmful Lead, Beryllium, Aluminum and Bacteria. International Business Times. Retrieved from: http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/533637/20140109/counterfeit-makeup-products-tested-mac-inside-edition.htm#.U3t1HtJdXng

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