Johnson & Johnson's Feminine Hygiene Advertising Was At the Root of Causing Ovarian Cancer Leading To Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson redirected their advertising toward African American women when the public was made aware that asbestos was carcinogenic
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 - Johnson & Johnson is trying to shelter their $400 billion of cash and assets from the potential legal liabilities stemming from selling baby powder contaminated with asbestos by spinning off its talcum powder liabilities into a separate entity and declaring it bankrupt. This despite allegations the company targeted women, African Americans specifically, with advertising hoping to get them to use the iconic Johnson's Baby Powder made from talc on their peritoneal region for feminine hygiene, rather than limit its use to diapering their babies. Johnsons Baby Powder advertising implied that African American women could elevate their social standing to that of white women by smelling better if they used Johnson's Baby Powder on their genital region. A lawsuit filed by the National Council of Negro Women "asserts that the New Jersey-based drug company made Black women a "central part" of its business strategy but failed to warn them about the potential dangers of the powder products it was selling," according to NPR. Janice Mathis, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, told NPR, "This company (J&J), through its words and images, told Black women that we were offensive in our natural state and needed to use their products to stay fresh." More than 38,000 talcum powder lawsuits have been registered, mostly by women of color presumably, who are suffering from ovarian cancer, and also by the loved ones of those who have succumbed to the disease.
A Johnson & Johnson spokesperson called the intentional targeting of women, rather than provide a talc cancer warning and having bad intentions in so doing "unreasonable and absurd." Bad intentions or not, there is no denying that women were targeted to use Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. Particles of talc, an inert organic material, have been proven to enter the vagina, make their way up through the Fallopian tubes, and become permanently trapped in the ovaries, the dead-end of the female reproductive system. Experts in the female reproductive system and ovarian cancer were approved by during Baby Powder Daubert hearings to testify as plaintiff expert witnesses. Scientists are expected to tell juries that particles of talc can cause sufficient oxidative stress leading to cancer, and that particles of talc have been found in the biopsied cancerous tissues of women who have died from the disease. An investigative report by Reuters titled "Special Report: As Baby Powder concerns mounted, J&J focused marketing on minority, overweight women," told readers that they uncovered internal J & J memos that prove the company had racial motives when they redirected their Johnson's Baby Powder advertising. Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed in its later stages because the painful symptoms can be masked by a woman's monthly menstrual discomfort. The later the diagnosis, the more likely the disease has metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body and invading vital organs. The 5-year survival rate is about 5% for stage four ovarian cancer.