“We’ve decided to phase-out or reduce certain ingredients that are safe by scientific standards and considered safe by key regulators around the world including the EU, the US and China,” said Susan Nettesheim, VP-product stewardship & toxicology. “We’re doing this because we’re listening to the people who rely on our products, and if they have concerns, we’re committed to addressing them, as long as we can do so safely and effectively. We want to be sure people have peace of mind bringing our products into their homes and caring for themselves and their families. Nothing is more important to us.”
While the move may have pleased CSC, it didn’t exactly appease the organization, which last month launched a national campaign challenging market leaders such as L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Estée Lauder, Avon and Unilever to follow J&J’s lead and commit to removing carcinogens and other harmful chemicals from cosmetics and specify a timeline for removal.
Even green competitors applauded J&J’s move and issued a challenge. John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, observed: “We commend Johnson & Johnson for removing some of the ‘chemicals of concern’ found in their personal care and cosmetic products and taking the small step announced today. We think there is far more the company and other companies can and should be doing, and doing it much faster.”
For years, the industry and its associations have defended their use of certain ingredients with reams of safety studies and FDA’s blessings. Now, however, as one of the industry leaders changes its stance, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before others follow. Stay tuned.