Johnson & Johnson’s license for cosmetics cancelled by FDA.
Johnson & Johnson’s license to make baby powder cancelled.
The company has been using ethylene oxide in its skin powder for infants. The sterilisation process using the chemical is completely wrong, for it remains as a residue. With usage, the talcum powder could turn carcinogenic and cause irreparable damage.
The messages suggest that FDA has cancelled the cosmetic license of the famous brand Johnson & Johnson, pointing to its improper sterilization process that can become carcinogenic in people using the products. The message is partly hoax, and does not convey the complete facts.
These messages circulated widely on Facebook, also featuring an image of a news paper print which said the Johnson & Johnson’s license for cosmetics was cancelled by FDA. Many readers assumed that FDA, the U.S agency has in fact cancelled the cosmetic license of Johnson & Johnson in U.S and elsewhere around worldwide, but this is NOT the case.
The Actual Issue
On 30 March 2013, Maharashtra’s Food & Drug Administration (the Indian FDA) issued a cancellation order of Johnson & Johnson India’s licence to manufacture cosmetics at its Mulund plant, in Mumbai suburb. The cancellation order was with respect to a case in 2007, when 15 batches (of 160,000 retail containers) of Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder manufactured at their Mulund plant were found to be sterilized using ethylene oxide, against the normal practice of using steam sterilization. Ethylene oxide inhibits growth of microorganisms, and this disinfectant effect is similar to that of sterilization by heat, but it can only affect the surface. This is why it is more commonly used in sterilization of medical devices.
As mentioned in the message, ethylene oxide is in fact an irritant, sensitizer, narcotic and a potential carcinogen. J&J used ethylene oxide to bring down microbial load in the powder by sterilization, but the FDA investigation revealed ethylene oxide residue in the talcum powder, and that the company did not even post-test those batch of products to check if the amount of ethylene oxide residue after sterilization was within the acceptable limits. Since this harmful method was used in a product meant for infants, FDA sought to this serious measure of cancelling the cosmetic license of J&J at Mulund. The Johnson & Johnson has been given 90 days to plead its case before the Maharashtra state government, if the company wants.
However, this does not mean that Johnson & Johnson cannot manufacture and sell its cosmetic products elsewhere in India and abroad. The cancellation of cosmetic license is only limited to the Indian Mulund plant of J&J, where the company will still continue to manufacture non-cosmetic products.
Companies risking people’s health in the name of business is never a good idea!
Hoax or Fact: