India Upholds Cancellation of Johnson & Johnson Plant License

Published: Jun 25, 2013

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In another blow to Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to remake its reputation after numerous manufacturing problems, the Maharashtra government in western India upheld a decision to cancel its license to manufacture cosmetics products* at a facility in suburban Mumbai. Last March, the local Food and Drug Administration cancelled the license after finding 15 batches of baby talcum power made at a plant in Mulund in 2007 were sterilized using ethylene oxide, a chemical that is believed to cause cancer, nausea and vomiting. The regulator alleged that J&J did not register the process and failed to conduct tests to check for traces of ethylene oxide in the batches of powder. "The company did not have data to check whether traces of ethylene oxide did not remain in the powder, as it is highly carcinogenic,” Maharashtra FDA commish Mahesh Zagde tells The Business Standard. “The company released small packs in the market and, in effect, exposed equal number of babies to carcinogenic substances. This is highly objectionable, irresponsible and illegal.”

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