SFDA tests disputed baby shampoo

Updated: 2011-11-05 15:09


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BEIJING -- China's food and drug watchdog is conducting a safety test and evaluation of baby shampoo produced by Johnson & Johnson amid allegations that the company's products may contain harmful chemicals.

Experts from a cosmetics safety committee under the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) began an evaluation process on Thursday for quaternium-15, a chemical preservative used in cosmetics.

According to Chinese regulations, the concentration of quaternium-15 in cosmetics should not exceed 0.2 percent, the same standard used by the European Union, said Sun Youfu, chairman of the committee.

Quaternium-15 can release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, but it is believed to be safe to use if the concentration in cosmetics is under 0.2 percent.

The US-based Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released a report on Tuesday saying that Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo products contain potentially cancerous chemical agents. The company later insisted that its products are safe.