The Shanghai-based NGS supermarket Group withdrew Johnson & Johnson's infant bath products from its 3,500 supermarkets and convenience stores in East China, after these were alleged to contain carcinogens on Monday.
"Although no official test results were shown, we made such a move for the sake of our customers' health, especially that of kids," a staff at Shanghai Changning district's NGS supermarket, who called herself Xu, told China Daily yesterday.
"We are waiting for the test results from the authorities to decide when to put them back on the shelves," she said.
The company's baby shampoo was found to contain both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane during a test conducted at an independent laboratory in the United States, commissioned by the non-profit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.
"We have to be responsible to consumers and suspend sales of these products until they are proven safe," Gan Pingzhong, quality supervision department manager of NGS Group, was quoted by Xinhua as having said on Tuesday.
So far no other major retailers took similar action, but some of them admitted that the "tainted" products were not selling as well as before.
"Few people come to buy Johnson & Johnson's infant products, once very popular among young parents," Xiao Tian, a cashier at Shanghai's Jiadeli Supermarket, said. "After all, no parents want to run the risk of using products of uncertain quality for their children."
"The concerned authorities and the company should release the test reports as soon as possible. What consumers need is respect, not deception or fraud," Chun Guan, a customer, said.
China's quality supervisor, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, denied media reports yesterday that the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration has already checked Johnson & Johnson's baby products.
Till yesterday, more than 50,000 people responded to an online survey on Sina.com.cn, of whom more than 60 percent said they would not buy the brand.
(China Daily March 19, 2009)