Walmart is the go-to retailer for millions of shoppers who want access to a seemingly endless variety of products without having to pay top-dollar prices. But lower prices aren’t worth it if what you’re buying might not be safe. Following a flurry of shopper complaints and concerns being posted online, Walmart is now under fire for selling one particular product in its stores. Read on to find out about the latest backlash directed at the mega-retailer.
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Walmart often has to remove products from shelves for one reason or another. In early April, the company chose to stop selling fake service dogs vests and other paraphernalia after receiving complaints. More recently, the retailer was impacted by a major recall of more than 120,800 pounds of ground beef products. While other stores were also affected, the recalled ground beef products were sold at a number of Walmart locations across a total of 17 states.
“Walmart and Sam’s Club are committed to the health and safety of our customers and members and to providing products that are safe and compliant, all supported by our health and wellness, product safety, and food safety professionals,” the company states on its website.
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Now, Walmart is back in the spotlight for concerns over a different product. On a number of online websites and social media platforms, shoppers are claiming that Parent’s Choice baby wipes, sold under Walmart’s own baby brand, have been leaving behind strange colors on people’s skin, as well as causing skin irritation.
“I used these on my face and neck and now I have a burning rash all over my neck and face,” one shopper posted on Top Class Actions. Another customer, who says they’ve been using these same wipes for years, claimed they started noticing “strange dark brown staining” on their son toward the end of April.
“Every time I’d wipe him there would be burnt orange marks on the wipe. Bathing didn’t get rid of it, only hard scrubbing got some of it off, but that’s not something you want to have to do to a baby,” they posted on Top Class Actions. “I’ve been using them for years, and I didn’t see how they would cause a residue on his skin. It’s very upsetting Walmart hasn’t made an official statement on it, and I would like to know what exactly the residue is.”
Walmart has removed some of these wipes from stores. The retailer has pulled at least 18 lots of Parent’s Choice baby wipes from shelves “due to a quality issue,” the Miami Herald reported on May 4.
Walmart did not elaborate on the reason behind the removal, other than noting that the removal was a proactive measure. “We are working closely with the supplier and FDA to investigate the issue,” the company said in a statement to the newspaper. “Customers may return the product to any Walmart store for a refund.”
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Shopper complaints involving the baby wipes did not stop at alleged reports of odd-colored stains and skin irritation, however. During a recent online forum hosted by the Baby Center, one shopper claimed the wipes were leaving behind a burning orange color due to “exposure of metals like arsenic and mercury.”
But this claim is “entirely unconfirmed,” according to Snopes, who says that there have been no confirmed reports of toxic metal contamination with the wipes. “The arsenic and mercury rumors did not originate with a reliable source,” Snopes added.
The company itself has denied rumors of a massive recall on Parent’s Choice wipes related to toxic metal contamination. “Any information provided that the product was recalled due to arsenic or mercury is false,” Walmart said in a response to a Twitter user on May 5.
Despite the concern from shoppers and the small recall, some Facebook users claim that Walmart is still selling the offending wipes. “Just an FYI to anyone using Parents Choice wipes…. the Rochester Walmart still has recalled wipes on the shelves,” one user posted on May 6.
Another Facebook user alleged that the Walmart in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, is still selling the recalled wipes. “I let an employee know, but he told me usually that’s the manager’s responsibility,” the user noted, alongside photos of the baby wipes and their lot numbers.
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