New Delhi: The Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) in Kolkata, the national statutory laboratory under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has concluded that Johnson & Johnson’s ‘No More Tears’ baby shampoo is safe to use.
The CDL’s report contradicts the claims by drug inspectors in Rajasthan, who had in March said two batches of the product were contaminated with formaldehyde, a cancer-causing substance. The Rajasthan drug controller had then issued a notice declaring the shampoos as ‘not-of-standard quality’ (NSQ).
The issue had brought yet another product of the US pharmaceutical giant under scrutiny over health concerns after its baby talcum powder and Articular Surface Replacement (ASR) hip implants.
“The samples were sent to a government lab in Kolkata for re-testing and the samples have passed the tests,” Rajasthan drug controller Raja Ram Sharma told ThePrint Monday.
The Kolkata lab specialises in the testing for quality control of drugs and cosmetics and is the oldest quality control laboratory in India.
The Rajasthan FDA, which earlier conducted the tests and found the batches contaminated, has posted the new report on its website, clarifying that the investigation has been concluded. The website confirms that the product is of standard quality and “does not contain formaldehyde”.
Johnson & Johnson has welcomed the latest results.
“We are pleased with the conclusion of the Rajasthan FDA, which confirms that Johnson’s baby shampoo does not contain formaldehyde,” said the J&J spokesperson.
“This outcome reaffirms our own testing and the longstanding assurance we have that Johnson’s Baby Shampoo does not contain formaldehyde or any formaldehyde-releasing ingredients,” the spokesperson added. “Importantly, this is the result of the appellate laboratory, following a magistrate court order for re-testing, and overrules an earlier test result that was erroneous.”
The shampoo controversy
According to a notice released by the Rajasthan drug controller on 31 March, two batches of the shampoo were found to be contaminated with formaldehyde — a substance identified as a carcinogen.
Based on the report, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had asked all states to stop the sale of the baby shampoo.
The company, however, had challenged the finding and the shampoo was sent to apex laboratories for re-testing. Johnson & Johnson disputed the earlier findings by saying that “the government did not disclose the test methods, details or any quantitative findings”.