Johnson & Johnson's Racial Audit Designed To Appease Shareholders Who Called For a World-Wide Ban on Selling Baby Powder
Johnson & Johnson's blatant disregard for racial, human, and corporate ethics makes their upcoming racial audit a farce
Friday, May 13, 2022 - Johnson & Johnson shareholders last week approved the racial audit of its employment, marketing, and advertising practices to make sure they are up to code with today's inclusive, liberal standards. On the surface the move makes the company look like they are placing ethics above profits but nothing could be further from the truth. The audit does little more than placate shareholders who called for Johnson & Johnson to discontinue selling talcum powder worldwide, not only in North America. The audit is probably nothing more than a public relations event if the facts about the company's history of ethics violations are taken into consideration. For example, The National Association of Negro Women (NCNW) last year filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson citing evidence that indicates that J & J knew asbestos-contaminated talc was being marketed to Black women specifically. "Internal documents demonstrate J&J targeted those advertisements to Black women, knowing that Black women were more likely to use the powder products and to use them regularly," according to the LA Times. These documents were uncovered in previous talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits and show the company has been involved in racially-discriminative and deceptive sales practices for more than the last 50 years by targeting African American women with Johnson's Baby Powder after the media learned that asbestos was carcinogenic and asbestos miners and those living nearby asbestos mines were dying. Johnson & Johnson allegedly handed out free samples of Johnson's Baby Powder to Black Women and purchased radio and magazine advertising targeted at that demographic.
The upcoming racial audit may not acknowledge or punish the company for its past bad deeds that are so cringeworthy a Missouri Appellate Court judge branded the company's corporate conduct reprehensible. Conforming with the acceptable standards of the day was the excuse a Johnson & Johnson spokesperson gave when it was made public last month that they funded scientific experiments that injected black prisoners with asbestos the World Health Organization had officially declared was "probably carcinogenic," and then injected them with talc to compare the different reactions to their both minerals. According to MedCityNews, "Bloomberg said that the company also noted that the tests did not violate research standards at the time." Johnson & Johnson told Bloomberg, "We deeply regret the conditions under which these studies were conducted, and in no way do they reflect the values or practices we employ today. As the world's largest healthcare company, our transparent, diligent approach to bioethics is at the heart of all we promise our customers and society." MedCity News notes the interesting angle that J & J's involvement in the human talc experiments may play in upcoming talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits. One law professor, a legal expert that closely follows the talcum powder cancer litigation said that he thinks that the revelation about Johnson & Johnson's funding of human experiments could change the way juries view the corporate health care giant when awarding punitive damage.