Johnson & Johnson's CEO Resignation Leaves Questions About Talc Safety
Johnson & Johnson's CEO's behavior speaks volumes about the company hiding what they knew about talc containing asbestos
Thursday, October 7, 2021 - Johnson & Johnson has won the last two jury trials where plaintiffs alleged using Johnson's baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. More than 30000 women have hired a talcum powder cancer lawyers and have filed lawsuits. If one is looking to get to the bottom of whether or not Johnson's baby powder contains asbestos and can cause cancer, all one has to do is to read the opening five-minute statement made by the Hon. Raja Krishnamoorthi (chairman of the subcommittee) recently addressing a special congressional subcommittee whose intent was to interview experts from both sides about what they knew about Johnson's baby powder allegedly being carcinogenic.
Krishnamoorthi opened the meeting with a scathing statement about how Johnson & Johnson's chairman Alex Gorsky refused to testify before Congress about the topics that needed answers. The committee intended to allow the CEO to defend his company against allegations their iconic brand of baby powder contained a deadly carcinogen and caused talcum powder cancer. The chairperson was irritated the CEO was unwilling to appear before the subcommittee to discuss the public health concerns regarding J&J's baby powder and noted that Gorsky had gone out of his way many times to speak with the media and proclaim the safety of the company's talcum powder products. The chairman noted that Johnson & Johnson was angry about not being invited to give their side of the story at a previous hearing on talcum powder cancer. But they were. "Before today's hearing, we gave Mr. Gorsky almost a full month's notice of the subcommittee's interest in his testimony. We wanted Mr. Gorsky to come forward with J&J's side of the story, but he declined. We can only speculate as to why I am currently speaking to an empty chair," Krishnamoorthi said. The chairman went on to say that it was a fact that numerous tests including those commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had found asbestos in Johnson's baby powder talc. He also stated that Johnson& Johnson had sought to block any use of more sensitive asbestos testing methods by the FDA, "an internal Johnson & Johnson memo from 1975, employees discussing--discuss suppressing the use of sensitive asbestos-detection methods stating, and I quote, we want to avoid promotion of this approach."
The most damning statements that the chairman of the committee made in his opening took the form of an accusation of the particularly reprehensible behavior executives at the company exhibited when faced with the fact that their talc supply contained asbestos. No summary on my part could do this justice, so here it is. Chairman Krishnamoorthi told the committee point blank: "There is evidence to suggest that when citizen petitions to the FDA in the late 1980's and early 1990's demanded that J&J label its powder with a cancer warning, the company pushed forward during that same period with an aggressive marketing plan for communities of color as its sales to Caucasians declined.''