Economy

Johnson & Johnson hammered by report it knew of asbestos in baby powder

Johnson & Johnson hammered by report it knew of asbestos in baby powder

Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that their baby powder had occasionally tested positive for small amounts of asbestos over the years, according to a new report.

"The scientific consensus is that the talc used in talc-based body powders does not cause cancer, regardless of what is in that talc", Bicks wrote.

Johnson & Johnson has denied the claims in the Reuters report, branding it "an absurd conspiracy theory".

He dismissed tests cited in this article as "outlier" results.

But assertions that the talc contained asbestos - and the science showing it causes mesothelioma and is also associated with ovarian and other cancers - has had mixed success in court.

The awareness could go back to 1957, as a lab report discusses a finding that's in line with asbestos. CNN reported J&J is on track for its worst day in a decade. The World Health Organization (WHO) warns that "all types of asbestos cause lung cancer, mesothelioma, cancer of the larynx and ovary, and asbestosis (fibrosis of the lungs)". "Studies of more than 100,000 men and women show that talc does not cause cancer or asbestos-related disease", it said.

As Reuters points out, the CEO's statement doesn't address whether the company's talc previously contained asbestos.

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In a trial combining the claims of 22 women, J&J this summer suffered its biggest defeat yet in the form of a $4.6 billion jury verdict; the company again said it would appeal.

Johnson & Johnson strongly rejected the claim describing it as as "one-sided, false and inflammatory" and insisted the product is entirely safe.

It added: "Johnson & Johnson will continue to defend the safety of our product".

In a major setback to the company, St. Louis jury in July had awarded almost $4.7 billion in total damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer in the first case against the company that focused on asbestos in the powder.

"Plaintiffs"€ attorneys out for personal financial gain are distorting historical documents and intentionally creating confusion in the courtroom and in the media, '€ Ernie Knewitz, J&J's vice president of global media relations said in response to Reuters. This is all a calculated attempt to distract from the fact that thousands of independent tests prove our talc does not contain asbestos or cause cancer.

Many plaintiffs allege that the amounts they inhaled when they dusted themselves with tainted talcum powder was enough to make them ill.