April 6, 2009

German Baby Powder Recalled In China

Baby skin powder manufactured by German housekeeping and healthcare products maker MAPA has been removed from shelves in China for allegedly containing asbestos, according to China's state quality watchdog.

The General Administration of Inspection and Quarantine said authorities sealed up 48 cans of the baby powder in Suzhou Debao Baby Supplies Co. Ltd, the brand's general agent in China, in an inspection Saturday.

MAPA, which is part of French rubber and plastics conglomerate Hutchinson Worldwide, markets its baby care products under the NUK brand.

An unidentified spokesman of Hutchinson's China subsidiary confirmed sales of the NUK baby powder had been suspended, but they refused to comment on whether it contained the forbidden chemical.

The quarantine agency said in a statement on its website late Sunday, that South Korean authorities reportedly tested 30 brands of baby powder and found 12 contained the carcinogen asbestos.

The agency said it would continue to "closely watch the matter and take effective measures proactively to safeguard the health and safety of infants."

Last year, China was shaken by a scandal over milk that was contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine that killed at least six babies and left almost 300,000 others ill.

When the scandal came to light in September it caused deep international concern, leading to recalls and bans around the world of products made in China.

Image Courtesy UPI