Finally, the evidence that personal care product giant Johnson and Johnson (J&J) knew about the health risks of the talc in their baby powder for decades and actively worked to cover it up has made its way to the public. Thanks to Reuters investigative journalists a new Special Report reveals that J&J not only knew about the risks of talc (and of asbestos which until the 2000’s tainted the talc) but they commissioned the infamous Product Defense Industry and paid for scientists and physicians who would defend the safety of their baby powder with bogus studies and ghostwriters to publish those studies in scientific and medical journals.
“J&J’s effort to protect its iconic Baby Powder franchise by shaping research was led by physician and scientist executives…J&J commissioned and paid for the study, told the researchers the results it wanted, and hired a ghostwriter to redraft the article that presented the findings in a journal.”
“In addition to dozens of published studies, the review cited unpublished research, including one experiment that used a doll as a proxy for infants and that supported the company’s position on the safety of talc. It didn’t disclose that J&J had commissioned the unpublished research.”
Given that talc/baby powder has commonly been used on infants that have underdeveloped immune defense systems as well as adult females using it for personal hygiene, the fact that Johnson & Johnson knew about the toxicity and subsequent health risks associated with their baby powder/talc products and actively worked to conceal it from consumers makes the current spate of lawsuits against them* seem an ethical imperative.
Please read the details of this Special Report:
A Reuters examination of many of those 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.
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.
A small portion of the documents have been produced at trial and cited in media reports. Many were shielded from public view by court orders that allowed J&J to turn over thousands of documents it designated as confidential. Much of their contents is reported here for the first time…Continue Reading
and then see:
J&J has been compelled to share thousands of pages of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents with lawyers for some of the 11,700 plaintiffs now claiming that the company’s talc caused their cancers — including thousands of women with ovarian cancer.
*The World Health Organization and other authorities recognize no safe level of exposure to asbestos. While most people exposed never develop cancer, for some, even small amounts of asbestos are enough to trigger the disease years later. Just how small hasn’t been established. Many plaintiffs allege that the amounts they inhaled when they dusted themselves with tainted talcum powder were enough.
*See some of our other posts on this topic:
J&J hammered by report it knew of asbestos in baby powder
Johnson & Johnson is forcefully denying a media report that it knew for decades about the existence of trace amounts of asbestos in its baby powder.
The report Friday by the Reuters news service sent company shares into a tailspin, suffering their worst sell-off in 16 years…Shares are down more than 9 percent, the most severe decline since 2002.