-- Hain Celestial said it's removing a claim from labels on its personal care products after a report raised questions about the company's claim that the products have no “harsh chemicals.”
The Wall Street Journal last year independently commissioned tests of several consumer products, including Earth’s Best baby shampoo, which is made by Hain Celestial, as well as other products containing sodium coco sulfate, or SCS. Hain Celestial and other companies that make products with SCS claim that this is a milder cleaning agent, according to the WSJ.
But the tests found more than trace amounts of another chemical, sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS, which the CDC says can irritate some people's skin, eyes and throats. In addition, multiple chemists told the WSJ that SCS is merely a blend of cleaning agents that contains about 50 percent SLS.
Hain Celestial Group is based in Lake Success, New York, and describes itself as "a natural, specialty and snack food company." Its personal care brands include Earth's Best, Jason, Alba Botanica and Avalon Organics.
This week, the WSJ reported Hain Celestial was dropping its “no SLS” claims on products that contain sodium coco sulfate. The company is also working to reformulate its products so that they contain no sulfates.
A statement from the company to ABC News reads, "As a leading organic and natural, better-for-you products company, Hain Celestial looks to be at the forefront of product standards and transparency. We began working to reformulate our personal products without sulfates in the Spring of 2015 in response to consumer preferences as part of our annual innovation review.
"We have used sodium coco sulfate, a less harsh surfactant that is naturally derived from coconut oil in some our personal care products, which is generally recognized as a safe and effective cleansing agent by third parties including NSF/ANSI 305 Standard for Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients as well as the Environmental Working Group."
The company told ABC News that sodium coco sulfate is in approximately 5 percent of its personal care products currently.