There is an old ethic problem popped up on Chinese media again these days. It is one chemical that Johnson & Johnson used in their star product Johnson’s Baby Shampoo has chance to cause cancer.
More than two years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released the groundbreaking report, No More Toxic Tub, which revealed that popular kids’ bath products – including Johnson’s Baby Shampoo – contained chemicals (quaternium-15) linked to cancer. The organization asked Johnson & Johnson to stop using that particular chemical ingredient.
After hearing the voice from their customers, Johnson & Johnson indeed stopped using the risky ingredient, but the reality is that they only took the action in some countries. Unfortunately, till now, these products are still in the U.S. and Chinese market. So the media in China and the U.S. bring out this issue again and they want to hear the response from J&J Company.
On Nov. 2nd, the explanation J&J company gave to Chinese customers is that: “We meet the regulation and quality standard provided by Chinese government… We can understand that some people concern about the chemical ingredient we use and we will try our best to find the substitute for that ingredient.”
Problem & Comment:
The response J&J Company gave to public seems appropriate and decent, however according to Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:
The analysis reveals that Johnson’s Baby Shampoo sold in the United States, Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia contains the formaldehyde preservative quaternium-15, while products sold in the U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands and Japan contain non-formaldehyde preservatives.
From all kinds of information above, we can clearly see that J&J didn’t take immediate action to prevent using the cancer-causing chemical ingredient in some countries. But at the same time, they sell non-quaternium-15 products in other countries. Although the company claimed that they meet the standard of certain countries about using that chemical ingredient, I still think it is unethical for them to use different formulas in different countries especially when you know the ingredient you use will do harm to your customers. Moreover, these products are designed for babies. They are extremely vulnerable and weak. I think the company should treat them with “special care” just as their slogan in China-“Born with Love.”