- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2009

SHANGHAI (AP) - Shanghai’s food and drug safety agency says it is testing Johnson & Johnson baby products following allegations they contain potential carcinogens.

An official at the Shanghai Food & Drug Safety Administration confirmed the agency was conducting tests but said he could not comment further because no results were available yet. Like many Chinese officials, he refused to give his name.

Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo and other products were among dozens from different manufacturers listed in a report issued March 12 by the U.S.-based health and environmental activist group Campaign for Safe Cosmetics as containing formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane.

Johnson & Johnson issued a statement reassuring customers and accusing the report of unnecessarily alarming parents.

“The trace levels of certain compounds found by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics can result from processes that make our products gentle for babies and safe from bacterial growth,” it said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration “and other government agencies around the world consider these trace levels safe, and all our products meet or exceed the regulatory requirements in every country where they are sold,” it said.

The allegations nonetheless struck a nerve in China, where a slew of product safety and quality scandals has left consumers jittery over potential risks.

A Shanghai-based supermarket chain, Nong Gong Shang, pulled Johnson Baby Shampoo from its shelves earlier this week in reaction to the report. However, other retailers appeared not to have taken any action so far.

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