Rwanda FDA recalls Johnson’s baby powder

Rwanda FDA recalls Johnson’s baby powder

Johnson’s baby powder displayed on the shelf of a retail shop. Photo/Reuters.

The Rwanda Food and Drug Authority (FDA) has recalled all talcum-based Johnson’s baby powder. 

In a statement on June 17, 2023, the FDA said the move is in reference to recalls of the baby powder issued by regulatory authorities in different countries.

It added that in a letter dated June 16, the “manufactures Johnson's baby powder informed Rwanda FDA that they have made a commercial decision at global level to cease production and distribution of talcum-based baby powder and transition to an entirely cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio.”

The FDA instructed all importers, distributors and retailers of cosmetics products to immediately stop the the importation and distribution of talcum-based Johnson's baby powder.

They were also ordered to return the talcum-based powder to the suppliers for suitable management. 

“Rwanda FDA instructs all importers to report to Rwanda FDA within 10 calendar days from the date of this recall the quantities imported, quantities distributed, quantities returned and final stock on hand of talcum-based Johnson's baby powder,” read the statement, with the authority urging the public to stop using talcum-based Johnson's baby powder.

In Kenya, Johnson and Johnson Company has been sued over the sale and distribution of its baby powder. 

The African Center for Corrective and Preventive Action (ACCPA) , in a petition filed at the High Court sought to have the court  “prohibit the First (JOHNSON & JOHNSON SERVICES INC) and Second Respondent (JOHNSON & JOHNSON (K) Ltd )from continued manufacture, sale and/or distribution of the Johnson & Johnson Baby powder in the Kenya Territory.”

The lobby group also wants to issue orders against the importation, distribution and sale of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder into the Kenyan market. 

In his affidavit, Chairperson Mwangi Macharia told the court that Johnson and Johnson uses benzene and talc in their baby powder products, which is contaminated by asbestos, a carcinogenic substance, causing exceedingly harm to its users. 

“THAT there is scientific proof that benzene should not be used in the manufacture of drug substances, excipients, and drug products because of its unacceptable toxicity and deleterious environmental effect,” he submitted. 

The talc-based baby powder has been banned in the European Union, India and African Countries such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe and the Republic of Congo. 


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