Maharashtra government had collected samples of 14 talcum powder brands, including Johnson & Johnson baby powder, as a "precautionary measure" to ensure that nobody gets cancer through cosmetics. The action comes in wake of a Missouri court verdict directing J&J to pay damages to kin of a woman who died of ovarian cancer.
Maharashtra government had collected samples of 14 talcum powder brands, including Johnson & Johnson baby powder, as a “precautionary measure” to ensure that nobody gets cancer through cosmetics. The action comes in wake of a Missouri court verdict directing J&J to pay damages to kin of a woman who died of ovarian cancer. “The tests were conducted as precaution, to ensure nobody gets cancer through use of cosmetics,” the Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Minister Girish Bapat told Legislative Assembly during question hour today. He was replying to a query by Amin Patel (Congress) and Sardar Tarasinh (BJP) in the Lower House. In March, following a Missouri court verdict directing the healthcare products major Johnson & Johnson to pay damages to the family of the 62-year-old woman, Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had collected samples of 14 other talcum powder brands, including Johnson & Johnson baby powder, and sent them for testing to laboratory to reaffirm if they meet the standards. In the past, the Maharashtra FDA had taken action against Johnson & Johnson twice.
In 2005, FDA had sent a notice to the company accusing it of selling nine of its products as specially meant for babies without proper clearances and asked them to remove the word ‘baby’. State government has also announced to approach the Centre for amendment in the laws for the stricter punishment and making the milk adulteration a non-bailable offence, and has decided to frame rules to curb the menace. In reply to another query on milk adulteration, Bapat admitted that milk adulteration has been a dangerous menace and the government has written to Centre for changes in the existing laws. “We had booked the culprits involved in adulteration under sections 283 and 328 of IPC, making the offence non-bailable, but the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court struck down the application,” the minister said. “We have challenged the ruling in the Supreme Court. If amended by the Centre, the enforcement may get a boost,” he added.
Bapat said flying squads were deputed regularly across the city to conduct the raids and the action has helped the government in restricting the milk adulteration. He said the government has also directed the officials at the Octroi entry posts to check 539 (milk) tankers entering the city everyday. “The department had seized the adulterated (milk) stock worth Rs 4.17 lakh and levied the penalty of Rs 11 lakh for the adulterated supply last year,” Bapat said. Bapat said that without waiting for the response from the Centre, the government has decided to frame its own rules for action against adulteration. The question about the adulteration was raised by Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Ashish Shelar and Ajit Pawar.