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.

04/02/2009 UPDATE: OF COURSE this was an April Fool’s joke. Well, the part about me quitting Fake Plastic Fish and taking a job with Johnson & Johnson was a joke. Sadly, the part about toxic chemicals in J&J baby products is not. So if you haven’t had a chance to follow the links and learn more, please do so.

Most of you guys understood the joke. Surprisingly, most of my family members did not. They were all congratulating me! And Michael was all, “What? You took a new job and didn’t tell me?” It was pretty funny for half a second.

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13 years ago

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

Lara S.
13 years ago

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. :)

13 years ago

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!


13 years ago

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. :)

13 years ago

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

Lisa Sharp
13 years ago

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!

13 years ago

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

13 years ago

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

Diane MacEachern
13 years ago

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.

knutty knitter
13 years ago

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

John Costigane
13 years ago

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?

Anita K
13 years ago

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…

Rob Nixon
13 years ago

Brilliant April Fools Gag!

Katy Farber
13 years ago

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


mother earth aka karen hanrahan
13 years ago

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

13 years ago


Christy B.
13 years ago

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

How To Recycle Condoms

13 years ago

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.

13 years ago

LOL Good April fools joke- Capital

... It's The Journey
13 years ago

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

Green Bean
13 years ago

Nice one.

Jennifer Taggart, TheSmartMama
13 years ago

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.

13 years ago

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…

13 years ago

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

Anarres Natural Health
13 years ago

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

13 years ago

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:

Condo Blues
13 years ago

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 :)

13 years ago

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

Mindful Momma
13 years ago

You are TOO funny! Thanks for the laugh!

Farmer's Daughter
13 years ago

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

13 years ago

lol! right!

13 years ago

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!

13 years ago

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 :)


Radical Garbage Man
13 years ago

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.

Beth Terry
13 years ago

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

13 years ago

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!

13 years ago

Good one!

Lynn from
13 years ago

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!

13 years ago

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.

Zombies Girl
13 years ago

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. :)

13 years ago

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


Ellen Halloran
13 years ago

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

13 years ago

Happy April Fool’s Day to you, too.

Christy B.
13 years ago

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

I got it!!!