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Kanebo Cosmetics early last month issued a recall of 54 types of its skin-whitening products, saying that they caused serious side effects. By July 25, 8,631 people in Japan reported problems related to the products.

The harm done by Kanebo’s products was worsened by the failure of the company to swiftly respond to complaints. Complaints had been coming in from dermatologists and consumers in Japan and other Asian countries since at least 2011, but were only publicly admitted by the company in July. In total, the company has received about 200,000 inquiries about the products.

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