JnJ baby shampoo free from carcinogenic Formaldehyde; says Gujarat FDCA
Ahmedabad: In a major relief, the notable MNC Johnson and Johnson (JnJ) has received clearance from the Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA) for the safety of its baby shampoo. The company was hemmed in controversy after reports surfaced that the product allegedly contained a carcinogenic compound, Formaldehyde.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported about the Rajasthan Drugs Controller allegedly finding traces of Formaldehyde in the product following which Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Authority had turned its eye on the healthcare major as well . The state FDCA had ordered tests on samples of JnJ’s baby shampoo results.
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Presently, confirmation to the test results was given by Dr Hemant G Koshia, Gujarat Food and Drugs Commissioner, who had on April 2 commissioned urgent testing of the products samples from the market in Gujarat.
It has been reported that no presence of Formaldehyde was found in samples of the baby shampoo manufactured by JnJ. The government analyst at the Food and Drugs Laboratory in Vadodara has confirmed that all five samples of the shampoo, checked for the presence of Formaldehyde, were found to be negative.
The document regarding the same states, ‘The sample does not reveal the presence of Formaldehyde’. These five letters, containing results of sample testing of the product, and dispatched to three Drugs Inspectors in Surat from where the samples were collected, were accessed by Mirror and all five state that formaldehyde was absent in all samples. While three samples of 50 ml, 100 ml and 200 ml were received by the lab on April 20, two 100 ml samples each were received by the lab on April 29. According to the test results accessed by Mirror, the samples were tested for ‘identification of formaldehyde’ based on the manufacturer’s method. The remarks therein are ‘Tested qualitatively for the presence of Formaldehyde and is found absent’.
Speaking on the test results, Dr Koshia told Ahmedabad Mirror, “Yes, the test results have all come back negative. No formaldehyde has been found in any sample of the shampoo. The product meets all Indian standards of manufacturing.”
While commenting on the same, JnJ spokesperson told Medical Dialogues, " Johnson &Johnson is in full compliance with current Indian regulatory requirements and standards for manufacturing and testing of all our products. We have confirmed to the Indian authorities that 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 products are sold."
In at least five years, JnJ has reportedly faced immense controversy and coercive action by the National Commission For Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR). However, since the inception of the issue, JnJ has maintained that the shampoo was safe and in compliance with regulatory standards.
Expressing over the same, JnJ spokesperson said, " We did not accept the interim results of the Government Analyst that were based on unknown and unspecified methods and have contested these interim test results. We will await the results and conclusion of the re-testing process at the Central Drugs Laboratory. We are 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."
Meghna A Singhania is the founder and Editor-in-Chief at Medical Dialogues. An Economics graduate from Delhi University and a post graduate from London School of Economics and Political Science, her key research interest lies in health economics, and policy making in health and medical sector in the country. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact no. 011-43720751