FDA Panel To Recommend More Strict Talc/Asbestos Testing
It looks as if the hammer may be about to fall on Johnson & Johnson's ability to claim that Johnson's Baby Powder is asbestos-free, pure and safe to use
Monday, January 13, 2020 - Reuters has published an article that tells of a panel of experts from "eight government agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health" commissioned by the US Food and Drug Administration has sided with plaintiff expert witnesses like Georgia microscope researcher Dr. William Longo, and are about to endorse a more sensitive testing method to be the new standard for the cosmetics industry. According to Reuters, "An expert panel formed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has endorsed asbestos testing standards for cosmetics that reject long-held industry positions and reflect those of public health authorities and experts for thousands of plaintiffs who allege contaminated talc products caused their cancers." Unlike other FDA meetings in the past and some as recently as 2018, the panel of experts that were gathered this time were selected for their objectivity and have no connection to Johnson & Johnson or the cosmetics industry. "The FDA noted that its panel of government experts "worked independently and has not solicited recommendations from cosmetic manufacturers, industry groups or any other non-governmental groups," Reuters wrote. Talcum powder cancer attorneys offer a free consultation and no-obligation to file a claim.
This is not the first time that the FDA has suggested that cosmetics products be more diligent when it comes to screening talc for asbestos, a known, deadly carcinogen. Internal Johnson & Johnson memos presented in court show that the company has fought FDA suggestions to adopt the liquid separation method (LSM) of asbestos testing since 1971, the last time the FDA convened to officially consider the possibility that talc may be contaminated with asbestos and kicked the can down the road until today. Johnson & Johnson and cosmetic industry experts hold the position that the LSM of testing for asbestos can produce false-positive results. The panel agreed with asbestos experts that are adamant that there is no safe amount of asbestos and that even small non-asbestos fibers can cause lung scarring when inhaled. Johnson's Baby Powder is intended for everyday use and even microscopic scarring can build up in the lungs over time causing mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs and asbestos' signature disease.
The Panel's decision on talc's asbestos method mirrored the opinion of the World Health Organization. The WHO's opinion according to Reuters: "there is no known safe level of asbestos exposure and called for talc powders and cosmetics to be tested with the most sensitive methods available." The FDA will issue a formal opinion on Feb 4, 2020.
Johnson & Johnson has been riding a series of court victories in recent months when claiming that women with ovarian cancer may have contracted the deadly disease due to having endometriosis, however, experts agree that clear cell ovarian cancer and endometrioid ovarian cancer occurs in less than 1% of women with endometriosis. and that ovarian cancer is not likely caused by the condition. Endometrial tissue is usually expelled during menstruation but some cells can escape and wind up in the ovaries or other reproductive organs causing buildup, irritation, and discomfort.