After failing quality checks carried out by the Drugs Control Organization for Rajasthan, Johnson & Johnson’s baby shampoo has come under the scrutiny of regulators in India. During the quality checks, researchers detected the presence of Formaldehyde, which is known as a cancer-causing agent. When various research bodies had classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen, Johnson & Johnson claimed to have had this ingredient removed from the product in 2014. However, the quality checks conducted by the DCO of Rajasthan showed that this was not true. Following their study, the DCO sent letters to various drug controllers in India to ask them to remove the product from their shelves.
The official report from the DCO said “The samples of cosmetics contain harmful ingredients,” Furthermore, a senior official from the organization, who wished to be anonymous, also said “The samples failed the quality tests. The company will have to reply after which action will be taken as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.”
However, Johnson & Johnson is contesting this claim. They are insisting that all their products are safe and that they only use ingredients that are approved by various governing bodies.
A spokesperson from this company said “We have contested the interim test results of the government analysis that were based on unknown and unspecified methods. The government did not disclose the test methods, details or any quantitative findings. This is concerning especially when there is no prescribed test method or requirement for testing formaldehyde in shampoo under the applicable standards,”
Once the brand had contested the claim, the samples were sent to be checked once more. The checks started back in December after claims were made that Johnson & Johnson’s baby talc has asbestos in it. India’s drug regulators, working on this evidence towards this claim, also ordered a bigger probe into all the baby products, to ensure that there were no gaps left in their findings. While the baby talc was considered to be of the quality standards set by these bodies, the baby shampoo came under fire when the researchers reportedly found formaldehyde in it.
Johnson & Johnson had released a statement in August of last year regarding the safety of its products. The company had said “The portfolio of ingredients was reduced by more than 50%, and all baby products have been designed for gentle care with no parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and sulfates. Even Johnson’s shampoo is no longer its signature golden hue, but instead, a clear formula packaged in a translucent yellow bottle for a transparent look and feel,”