Nov. 16, 2011: Markey on Johnson & Johnson Decision to Remove Carcinogens from Baby Products

Lawmaker introduced Safe Cosmetics Act to protect consumers from dangerous chemicals in personal care products

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and co-author of the Safe Cosmetics Act, released the following statement today after Johnson & Johnson announced their plan to reformulate all its baby products worldwide to remove formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical. The company’s renowned baby shampoo still contains formaldehyde-releasing chemicals in the United Sates even though formaldehyde-free versions of the product are available in other countries.
“With one of the most trusted brands for consumer baby products, Johnson & Johnson is being a good corporate citizen by taking immediate steps to remove cancer-causing formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals from its baby products. Johnson & Johnson can now promise No More Toxics and No More Tears. But the fact remains that without stronger federal laws, many of our everyday products will continue to contain chemicals that can make families sick. The Safe Cosmetics Act that I introduced with Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Tammy Baldwin will close the gaping hole in the federal law that allows potentially toxic chemicals to remain in the personal care products we use every day.”

In June, Reps. Markey, Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) introduced the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011. The legislation will close major loopholes in federal law that allow companies to use ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products known to damage human health and the environment. The bill would require stricter labeling requirements and gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the ability to order recalls of dangerous products.  Currently, the FDA does not have the authority to ensure the safety of cosmetics the same way it does for food and drugs.