J&J India rejects government tests results that found formaldehyde in its baby shampoo

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Johnson & Johnson has defended its  No More Tears baby shampoo after government tests concluded that it found formaldehyde in its products. ©GettyImages
Johnson & Johnson has defended its No More Tears baby shampoo after government tests concluded that it found formaldehyde in its products. ©GettyImages
Johnson & Johnson has defended its No More Tears baby shampoo after tests conducted by the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan concluded that it found formaldehyde in its products.

The company has rejected the findings and asserted that its No More Tears does not contain any harmful ingredients.

“We do not accept the interim results given to us which mentioned samples to ‘contain harmful ingredients – identification positive for formaldehyde,’” ​it said in a statement.

It added: “We unequivocally maintain that our products are safe and our assurance process is amongst the most rigorous in the world, meeting or exceeding the safety standards in every country where our products are sold.”

J&J contesting results of test

J&J expressed concerns that the Indian government did not disclose the test methods, details or quantitative findings.

“This is concerning especially when there is no prescribed test method or requirement for testing Formaldehyde in shampoo under the applicable standards.”

The company confirmed that it has contested the findings from the results.

“We have contested the interim test results of the government analysis that were based on unknown and unspecified methods. Following due process under law, the application before the relevant authority is pending for re-testing of samples at Central Drugs Laboratory.”

A spokeswoman from J&J said the company was currently awaiting the results and conclusions of the re-testing process at the Central Drugs Laboratory.

It stressed that its baby shampoo does not contain any harmful ingredients.

“We do not add formaldehyde as an ingredient in our shampoo nor does Johnson’s baby shampoo contain any ingredient that can release formaldehyde over time. Our products are safe to use and conform to all applicable standard under the D&C Act and D&C rules.”

It added: “Johnson & Johnson is in full compliance with current Indian regulatory requirements and standards for manufacturing and testing of all our products.”

Child’s rights group asks to ban sales of J&J shampoo

In a notice​ dated March 5, the Drug Control Organisation of Rajasthan declared that samples of J&J baby shampoo failed quality tests as they contained ‘harmful ingredients’.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has asked states across India to stop the sale of the baby shampoo.

The local child’s rights body said it came to this decision in view of the findings from Rajasthan.

The spokeswoman confirmed that it was not aware of any directions from NCPCR.

“It must be noted that any such directions, under the law, can only be issued under certain prescribed conditions,”​ she added.

Times of India reported that NCPCR is also looking into the reports on J&J’s baby powder.

In February, J&J was allowed to resume production of its talc-based power after Indian authorities confirmed that its products were free of asbestos and safe to use.

The company said: “Johnson & Johnson is in full compliance with current Indian regulatory requirements for the manufacturing and testing of our talc. We stand behind the safety of our talc, which is routinely tested by both suppliers and independent labs to ensure it is free of asbestos.”

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