No endangering kids

Published: Tuesday 31 May 2005

The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on May 5, 2005, decided to ask Johnson and Johnson India (J&J), Wipro and other companies manufacturing baby products to prominently display warnings regarding the side effects of all ingredients contained in the products on their labels. The companies have also been forbidden from making claims about health benefits from their products without the approval of the drug controller general of India, for which they have time till August 1, 2005.

Assistant commissioner FDA, Mumbai, C G Kurunkar says the sale of these products will not be allowed without this approval. "But we have no objection to their sale if the word 'baby' is removed from their names," he adds. FDA has already issued a notice to J&J; notices to other companies are in the pipeline. FDA had earlier given a show cause notice to J&J for "misbranding" its baby products (see Down To Earth, 'Risky care', April 15, 2005). J&J has said it will cooperate fully and comply with the order.

Earlier, on April 20, 2005, Union minister of health and family welfare Anbumani Ramadoss told the Lok Sabha that plans are underway to improve the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. Suggested changes include removing all unsubstantiated claims from the labels of products and listing all ingredients used in them, even if in negligible quantities.

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