Johnson & Johnson Mislead Consumers About The Dangers of Talc
Johnson's Baby Powder has escaped the rigors of federal government regulation for more than a century
Friday, March 26, 2021 - Jurors have awarded plaintiffs hundreds of millions of dollars each, often the maximum a judge would allow, for the unnecessary pain and suffering they endured from decades of using Johnson's Baby Powder. Judges have told jurors that the company acted out of their profit-driven self-interest and exercised a willful disregard for public safety. It has now come to light that Johnson & Johnson may have failed to warn the public of what it had known for decades about the health dangers of using talcum powder. Talcum powder tests have revealed that the baby powder ingredient could contain trace amounts of asbestos, a well-documented cancer-causing mineral. In the 1970's, thousands of asbestos miners and many of the residents of the towns surrounding asbestos mines contracted and died from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer and the signature illness associated with inhaling asbestos. Inhaling asbestos may cause pleural disease, asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Internal company memos brought to light by a Reuters investigative report reveal the company grappled with deciding on what to do about their asbestos problem. According to the Reuters investigation, "(Court) documents, as well as deposition and trial testimony, shows that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, and that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors, and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public." Even without incriminating communications, it would be implausible to think that Johnson & Johnson were unaware that a problem existed. Talc is found in adjacent and often overlapping mines around the world from the United States and China. Talc and asbestos mines use open-pit blasting operations that send enormous clouds of talc and asbestos intermingled together into the air.
The Reuters investigation also uncovered evidence that Johnson & Johnson exerted their influence on the federal government to keep their industry unregulated. "The documents also depict successful efforts to influence U.S. regulators' plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic talc products and scientific research on the health effects of talc." The FDA has set up a sub-committee to oversee, but not regulate or test cosmetics. Talcum powder lawsuits are handled by top national attorneys with a winning track record litigating against big corporations and pharmaceutical companies and offer a free consultation before filing a claim.
The public would be collectively aghast if they knew that the FDA does not regulate and has never regulated health care, beauty care, and baby care products that contain talc, and instead rely on the manufacturer's product safety representation. The FDA supervises but does not regulate or routinely test cosmetic products as might be assumed by the public. This fact was supported in court by a high-level Clubman Talcum Powder executive who told jurors that his company never thought to test their talc for asbestos and that the company's products safety representations are based on those made by talc mining companies or as is the case with Johnson & Johnson are the result of lax asbestos testing measures. Also, according to the FDA, "FDA's legal authority over cosmetics is different from our authority over other products we regulate, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients do not need FDA premarket approval, except for color additives."