Honest Co. recalls organic baby powder over infection concerns

Consumer products maker Honest Co. is recalling organic baby powder sold in the U.S. because it may cause skin or eye infections. (Jan. 12, 2017)


Honest Co., the consumer products company co-founded by actress Jessica Alba, is recalling organic baby powder sold in the U.S. because it may cause skin or eye infections.

The Santa Monica start-up said that a regular test of the powder found possible contamination of microorganisms that can cause infections. The baby powder is sold in the U.S. in 4-ounce bottles.

“Under the full guidance of the FDA, we have decided to voluntarily recall the product out of an abundance of caution,” co-founder Christopher Gavigan said in a video posted on the company’s website. “On behalf of my co-founders and everyone here at Honest, I sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.


Gavigan said customers can return the product for a full refund. Honest did not say how many bottles were affected.

This is just the latest headline-grabbing problem to hit Honest, whose brand was built on a promise of providing healthy alternatives to traditional consumer products that contain more chemicals.

Last year, Honest said it planned to reformulate its laundry detergent and other cleansing items after a Wall Street Journal investigation found that it contained a chemical the company pledged never to use. It also came out with a new formula for its sunscreen with after customers complained last year that it was ineffective.

Longtime observers say that negative attention contributed to the company seeking a buyer last year. Honest was reportedly in preliminary talks with Unilever regarding a sale, but Unilever ended up acquiring Seventh Generation, a maker of plant-based detergents and cleaners.

In December, Honest said it planned to cut 80 jobs, or about 14% of its workforce, as it reorganized operations to make a more aggressive push into wholesale and other areas of growth.

Follow Shan on Twitter @ByShanLi