“We are going to fight against cosmetics marketed under the thanaka name that contain little or no thanaka. They are damaging thanaka tree farmers and producers. The market is declining. We will hold a conference so that the government can know about this scam.
“We are sampling thanaka products to make sure they contain at least 20pc thanaka, and have found about 100 fakes on the market,” he said.
“We will submit a list to the Department of Consumer Affairs, and in cooperation with the department, we will take action against them for false advertising under the Intellectual Property Law and Competition Law,” said U Kyaw Moe.
They also plan to issue certificates that state where the thanaka was grown, which part of the tree was used, and the thanaka content.
Planters are increasingly replacing thanakha with more commercially viable plants, such as gum karaya, and mango, he said. The 300,000 acres of thanaka plantations throughout the country are decreasing.
The association holds thanaka festivals around the country in an effort to expand the market for the cosmetics. At an event at Kyauktawgyi Pagoda in Mandalay, thanaka was touted not only as a cosmetic but also as a medicinal product.
Similar events were held in Ayadaw, Myaing, Shwebo, and Yesagyo townships, he said.
The association hasn’t received any help from the government, he said, adding, “We are receiving aid from a non-governmental organisation.” – Translated