China’s state quality watchdog said it has removed the products for testing, according to the AFP.
The news agency said a spokesperson from Hutchinson Worldwide’s China subsidiary (the French conglomerate that owns the NUK company) confirmed that sales of the NUK powder products had been suspended in the country, but would not comment on the presence of the asbestos.
NUK, a Germany headquartered company, stated that it does not manufacture any baby powder or talc products; rather it has a range of baby bottles, teats and breastfeeding products on the European market.
However, NUK has given permission for South Korean company Boryung Medicine, Seoul, to use the NUK name as a licensed trademark.
Boryung Medicine is licensee for baby care products such as creams and powders and has sole responsibility for the manufacture and distribution of the products, the company said in a statement.
NUK stated that Boryung Medicine has complied for nearly 20 years with its demands that licensees disclose their products and formulae and guarantee unlimited conformity with all regulations and recommendations.
“We are currently in contact with the authorities in South Korea and with the manufacturer,” NUK said in a statement.
Available only in China and South Korea
In addition, the company has assured its European consumers that no product of the South Korean manufacturer is legally offered for retail sale in any country outside South Korea and China.
The case comes just weeks after US-based company Johnson & Johnson had a number of its baby care products tested by the Chinese authorities.
The products were tested for the presence and concentrations of 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde. Both the Food and Drug Administration and the General Administration of Quality, Supervision and Quarantine found the products met generally accepted safety standards for the two compounds.
The investigation was in response to claims by the US group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics that many baby products contained traces of these chemicals and that this posed a health threat.
US trade body PCPC refuted the claims and called the report a cynical attempt to prey on concerned parents.