LUMININEX, the Japanese maker of tooth whitening products, will be the first to admit it has lost millions of customers in the wake of the crisis.
The US$20 billion global luxury consumer goods company, which has a US$2.5 trillion market, will pay a $10 million fine to the US Securities and Exchange Commission for misleading investors in India, where it had been headquartered since 1996, the SEC said on Tuesday.
The SEC said that the company’s advertising in India and other markets that were sold in recent months had made it clear that LUMINOX was committed to providing high quality and effective tooth whitener products in India.
The company has also promised to take “appropriate action” to protect the integrity of its supply chain and suppliers in India’s largest state, Gujarat, the agency said.
The scandal has shaken the Indian luxury industry, and prompted fears that some Indian companies might not be able to attract foreign investments in the near future.
India’s economy is expected to contract 0.5% this year and 1.5%, in the latest Reuters forecast.
The company said it was taking steps to ensure the safety of its products and that the Indian market was “well positioned” to make LUMIMED products and supplies.
Luminescent tooth whiteners, which are widely used by consumers to reduce the appearance of whitening spots on their teeth, have been gaining in popularity in the West and have helped millions of Indians in the developing world avoid tooth decay.