The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish
April 1, 2009

Goodbye to Fake Plastic Fish. Hello Johnson & Johnson.

April 2 2009 Update: The following was written on April 1. Please keep that in mind as you read it. I have not stopped writing this blog!

Well, it’s been a good run. But just this morning, I accepted a job in the marketing department of Johnson & Johnson (Shhh… my current employer doesn’t know yet) and one of the stipulations is that I stop writing Fake Plastic Fish. After all, most of their products come packaged in plastic.

Now, before you get your panties in a twist, I’ve got good news. Their bottles are all recyclable, so it’s okay. Also, they recycle their office paper and turn off the lights when they leave the office, so they really are a green company.

Whatever you do, do not read today’s “emergency” Carnival by the Green Moms. These women have some problems with Johnson & Johnson, specifically the chemicals in the company’s baby products.

But J&J has assured me that these chemicals are safe in the amounts used in these products, and what motive could they possibly have to mislead us? Of course, the Green Moms are more concerned about exposure over time and the effects of multiple chemical exposures and insist this is why we need the Kid Safe Chemicals Act to be passed.

The Green Moms are especially upset at how Johnson & Johnson is using mothers to promote its products via its new Big Bubblin’ Stars Video Contest. Personally, I think it’s genius. What better way to get mothers to trust the company than by using other moms to vouch for it?

But the Green Moms wonder why Johnson & Johnson doesn’t put its money into ensuring its products are actually safe, rather than into marketing, especially since the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’s No More Toxic Tubs Campaign (PDF) reports finding both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane in Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.

Well, if J&J listens to the Green Moms, I could lose my awesome new job. And besides, I don’t have kids, so I’m not really worried.

44 Responses to “Goodbye to Fake Plastic Fish. Hello Johnson & Johnson.”

  1. Cocoanib says:

    I was just falling in love with your blog and then this.
    Thank Goodness it was just a goof…I’m still in love :)

  2. Lara S. says:

    We don’t celebrate april fool’s day in Argentina, so I thought it had to be a joke but I couldn’t get WHY!! Until I read the new post you just posted.
    You did it great though. :)

  3. SariJ says:

    What a great try! You almost had me, but I have been following you far to long to really believe you would take such a job.

    Happy April Fools to you too!


  4. Carrick says:

    omfg. I TOTALLY bought it!!!!!!! This being the day AFTER April Fools, it ‘s not really fair, though. :P But wow, well played. Well played.

    And I am heartily reassured that you would never do such a thing. :)

  5. Maureen says:

    Wow! I saw this a day late and didn’t realize it was for April Fool’s Day! I almost cried!

  6. Lisa Sharp says:

    Great post! Though you didn’t fool me at all. I knew you girls were working on this but I love your way of pointing all of this crap out!

    As you know I’m not a parent either but this still pisses me off. Don’t have to be a parent to see this is wrong. Thanks for the great post Beth!

  7. Alline says:

    Love it! At first I thought you had gone to “the dark side.” Then, I just laughed. No foolin’!

  8. Lisa says:

    Of all the April Fool’s jokes I saw (and participated in), this one is my very favorite. Great job, Beth!

  9. Diane MacEachern says:

    Beth, J&J would be lucky to have you! But you're right – what's in their products is no joke. We need tougher laws, enforcement of regulations and transparent labeling so we all know what we're getting in addition to our bath bubbles.

  10. knutty knitter says:

    Ha ha ha…..nice one. It’s April 2nd here so I caught on about half way through. One of the best yet!

    viv in nz

  11. John Costigane says:

    Hi Beth,

    That was a good one, too good.

    Speaking for those who cannot yet is important. How much of childhood disease is down to chemicals?

  12. Anita K says:

    My panties were getting into a knot – and the last line was just too much. When I clicked over here to leave a comment, I saw the date in the header…

  13. Rob Nixon says:

    Brilliant April Fools Gag!

  14. Katy Farber says:

    Too funny. Way to tie in both our current state of affairs with April fools day!


  15. mother earth aka karen hanrahan says:

    awesome april fools commentary – the fact is we have choices here…there are products that moms and non moms can feel good about

  16. Chile says:


  17. Christy B. says:

    Here’s one of my favorite internet April Fool’s posts:

    How To Recycle Condoms

  18. Amber says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day! And thanks for raising awareness about an important issue. I’ve long since switched bath products, but every little bit to raise awareness helps.

  19. Robj98168 says:

    LOL Good April fools joke- Capital

  20. ... It's The Journey says:

    I knew you would not sell out! but you had me wondering what the heck????
    I know, I know, no amount of money……

  21. Green Bean says:

    Nice one.

  22. Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama says:

    Beth – What a wicked sense of humor you have. You had me going only because you sent that email “please don’t be mad.” Holy carp girl.

  23. cristele says:

    OMG! this funny as hell! What made me jump off my chair as :”they turn off the lights so they really are green” …I was like …is SHE writing that? thanks to the comments to remind me of Fool’s day…good laugh, thanks…

  24. Kristina says:

    Oh my gosh you had me!!!!! My heart sunk for a moment before I understood…

  25. Anarres Natural Health says:

    YOU TOTAllY had me until i read the comments.
    My heart still hasn't stopped pounding. When you wrote that they recycle, so it's okay, I nearly cried. I was going to write to you firmly and lovingly that J&J are poisoning kids, really and I could prove it to you.

    I need to eat some raw nuts and calm down.

    Love & RRRevolution, Tracey

  26. Christine says:

    Aside from April Fool’s Day this is also Energy Waste Day 2009. My husband is supporting it. I told him no way. I am protesting Energy Waste Day and offsetting my husband’s efforts by turning off my refrigerator for the day. That’ll show him!

    My husband’s Energy Waste Day blog:

  27. Condo Blues says:

    Congratualtions Beth! I celebrated your new job by driving a monster truck all through my neighborhood with the radio blasting as loud as can be. I didn’t pollute because I used ethenol in the gas tank and noise isn’t real pollution you know.

    In other words, Happy April Fool’s Day to you too :)


    LOL Beth – Loved it! Happy April Fools Day. :-D

  29. Mindful Momma says:

    You are TOO funny! Thanks for the laugh!

  30. Farmer's Daughter says:

    Um, April Fool’s? Took me about halfway through the post to get it :)

  31. islandveggie says:

    lol! right!

  32. jennconspiracy says:

    I just knew that was an April Fool’s prank – I did my prank last night: 5 mannequins on my friend’s front lawn. Next time, it’ll be your yard! MUAH HA HA HAH!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Oh my. You had me going! Glad it’s just a prank. It is a prank right?

    With just reading the first couple of lines, it hit me… how inspiring your blog has been to me, and how much I would miss it if your new job was true!


    Keep up the good work :)


  34. Radical Garbage Man says:

    You know, I think April Fool’s Day is overdone. Fortunately, part of my job involves opening the mail and date-stamping it, or I’d have been bothered.

    For a brief moment of terror, I was going to offer to take over editing the blog and start soliciting guest writers on plastic waste.

    I’ll get started on the alleged bioplastic soon and will send pics along.

  35. Beth Terry says:

    You’re a crackup, Beth. Happy April Fools Day to you, too! Yah, sure, who cares if yah don’t have kids, let the li’l twerps suffer! Amazingly, and sadly, you nailed it, tho’. The old NIMBA mentality (not in my back yard – if it doesn’t concern my selfish agenda, who cares?)

    Good book on the toxins in all the “safe” products: “Our Toxic World – A Wake Up Call” by Doris Rapp

    As always, love your blog.
    The Other Beth Terry

  36. Anonymous says:

    Good Lord. I thought, there has to be a catch. Here it comes, right? Where is it? I missed it! Where is the catch… maybe the comments will clue me into the joke, because certainly it is… but why!?

    APRIL FOOL’S DAY! Aha! That is it!
    In fact, I knew that today was such a day for pranks, but I forgot because no one tried to prank me!

    Good one, Beth!

  37. Jenn says:

    Good one!

  38. Lynn from says:

    If you hadn't sent out that email saying "Please don't be mad," you wouldn't have had me going for a nanosecond. I actually thought you might be mad because we pre-empted the carnival planned here today on Life Less Plastic!!! But glad you are such a good sport with a huge heart and wicked sense of humor!!!

    By the way, I called J&J and spoke to their PR person – who I think will also be calling into the radio show I'm doing later today with Lisa Frack of EWG and Jennifer Taggert, The Smart Mama. Should be an interesting day.

    And not all of us Green Moms – least of all me, the Founder of the Carnival – are convinced that Kid-Safe is the way to go. It's an option, but being the GDI and businessperson that I am, I'm not a huge fan of government regulation, and I don't think we've been doing a particularly good job of regulating our way out of problems.

    What's the answer? I don't know. Use less stuff is one approach for sure!

  39. JessTrev says:

    Ohmigosh, I am *so* excited about your new job. Don’t worry about those moms — execs will write them off as “hysterical” like they have women with issues for time immemorial. Gets em every time.

  40. Zombies Girl says:

    Mothers do tend to over react, J&J has been around a long time and is known for their kid friendly products, we should trust they wouldnt want to drastically harm children, I sure its not a great deal of toxic exposure. And a little bit of plastic if its recycled never really harmed anyone. :)

  41. Juli says:

    You had me going for a while! Oh my sweet Cruise, my heart was pounding!


  42. Ellen Halloran says:

    And a Happy April Fool’s Day to you, Beth!
    Ellen Halloran

  43. Nancy says:

    Happy April Fool’s Day to you, too.

  44. Christy B. says:

    At first I panicked, then I was thoroughly confused and then….

    I got it!!!