Ban of J&J baby powder, and a history of violations

Ban of J&J baby powder, and a history of violations

A long-drawn court battle is awaited between Johnson & Johnson and the Maharashtra government over the cancelation of license of the company’s popular baby powder brands.
The Maharashtra FDA had banned the selling of Johnson & Johnson baby powder brand last week.
The action was taken after the samples of the company’s powder failed to pass the quality check in the latest laboratory test and did not meet the set standards. The powder has a pH value higher than the permitted limit and may harm the skin of newborns. This has led to the cancellation of the company’s license and suspension of the manufacturing and sale of the product in the state.
As per reports, the FDA obtained two Johnson & Johnson baby powder samples from Pune and Nashik. The results revealed that the samples did not meet the IS5339:2004 specifications for pH in skin powder for infants. J&J previously stated that they would transition to cornstarch-based baby powder in 2023 and that they would stop selling talc-based baby powder globally. 
The FDA has now issued a notice to Johnson & Johnson and ordered the company to recall all the stocks of failed samples from the market. However, the firm has challenged the sample report in court.
Amid the contention, a major point of worry has emerged for the chemists, who have already bought major stocks of J&J baby powder as it is highly popular in the Indian market. Rajiv Singhal, General Secretary, AIOCD, said, “We have asked the company what we should do with the available stock on the shelves in chemist’s shops because we are not able to sell the goods. We await a response from the company. “
The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has demanded clarity from J&J on the existing stock of baby powder in the chemist shops of Maharashtra as the FDA has ordered the company to withdraw the product from the market.
In the past, several lawsuits have been filed against J&J by women, claiming that the product caused them to have ovarian cancer because of the contamination of a popular carcinogen called asbestos.
The talc itself is not cancerous. It is the softest known mineral and is mined from underground deposits. It is used in a variety of personal care and cosmetic products, like baby powder, eye shadow, lipsticks, etc. In its fine form, it absorbs moisture and prevents rashes.
Another naturally occurring silicate mineral called asbestos can also be found near the talc deposits. There can be a possibility of talc contamination with asbestos. Asbestos is known for causing lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and other health conditions. This makes the talcum powder potentially able to cause cancer.
When asbestos-contaminated talc is applied to the skin of the genitals or on sanitary pads, it can cause ovarian cancer. Pediatricians often advise parents to not use talcum powder on babies because it can cause choking infections and respiratory illnesses, if inhaled.
For many years, questions have been raised on the safety of J&J powder, but the company has maintained its claim that the product is safe. However, the company made a statement on 11 August that it will now make starch-based baby powders.