Baby Powder – Powder Keg
Johnson & Johnson Lacks Credibility after Asbestos found in Lots of Baby Powder
For years Johnson & Johsnon has been dismissive of lawsuits claiming their storied baby powder product was linked to ovarian cancer in women and mesothelioma in people in general. Despite several verdicts for the baby powder ovarian cancer link and a recent wave of baby powder – mesothelioma verdicts, Johnson and Johnson’s defense focused on the fact that there is absolutely no asbestos (a known cancer causing agent) in their baby powder also known as talcum powder. In fact, Johnson & Johnson spent lavishly to mount a campaign informing the public that the lawsuits and verdicts against them were the results of overzealous lawyers and ill-informed citizens sitting as jurists who believed the false premise.
Never mind the fact that verdict after verdict was coming back in favor of the plaintiffs – the women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after long term baby powder usage. Johnson & Johnson also attributed that to rogue venues and a bundling of cases that a the federal and state supreme court found unconstitutional.
According to a Reuters investigation Johnson & Johnson knew that its baby powder contained asbestos dating back to the 1970s. Why is that important? Well first asbestos is known to directly cause mesothelioma. In fact, mesothelioma is a signature cancer caused only be exposure to asbestos and usually traceable to individuals who worked in installations of it or were around it quite a bit, such as pipefitters, insultation workers, soldiers and sailors. It is a particularly fatal disease with a high mortality in a period of time that could be less than a year depending on the diagnosis. So when an atypical demographics who did not have exposure to those conditions were developing cancer, the catalyst for the cancer was distilled to the baby powder.
Even after the Reuters investigation came out Johnson & Johnson decried it and took out advertisements reasserting there was no link between their product and asbestos and therefor their product could not cause ovarian cancer nor mesothelioma and doubled down on blaming the mass tort lawyers and rogue citizens who sit on the juries who impartially review the evidence.
And then it happened. In 2019, the FDA tested some of the baby powder and guess what. They found asbestos in the baby powder! That’s right the United States Food and Drug Administration’s independent testing showed that the cancer-causing agent that Johnson & Johnson denied was in the baby powder all along was in the baby powder. There’s no plaintiffs’ attorneys to blame. No “ill informed” jurists. No way to argue the “contaminant” of information proliferated by thousands of women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma as a result to their baby powder exposure have tainted the testing, but wait, Johnson and Johnson meekly indicating, “most probable root causes for the FDA’s reported results were either test sample contamination and/or analyst error at the AMA lab.” When the FDA was confronted with the feeble propaganda from Johnson & Johnson it indicated it stands behind the results of the testing.
Let’s digest for a second J & J’s excuses for finding asbestos in their baby powder in 2019. Analyst error would be ruled out as the FDA independently tested it with multiple analysts. I suppose they could try to assert “analysts” errors then when multiple people performed the test they each independently were wrong and came up with the same conclusion. That would be like asking two independent people to pick a number from one to a billion and each guessing the same number. The other is that the sample was contaminated. Of course it was, it was contaminated with asbestos. Is that an admission from Johnson & Johnson? Or are they claiming that the FDA has errant asbestos making its way into the testing room for their product and their product alone.
This week, Johnson & Johnson was sacked with a $9 million dollar verdict with another independent jury concluding baby powder caused mesothelioma in a poor woman who now has a death sentence as a result of baby powder usage. Defending the cases with some of the best lawyers and information money can buy and the jury still concluded baby powder was the cause of the cancer. Johnson & Johnson doubled down, “Consumers can be assured that more than 40 years of independent scientific evaluations confirm that Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer.” Is it that they no longer consider the FDA independent?
Johnson & Johnson is and will continue to suffer a crisis of credibility when the FDA caught them with the smoking gun. Their denials in conjunction with vilifying the system are empty at this point and no one should believe what they say unless and until they have a coherent explanation how the asbestos made it into the bottle in the FDAs hand, and what’s being done to ensure that there’s no further asbestos. If baby powder is supposed to by hygienic, it’s now time for Johnson & Johnson to come clean.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma or diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using baby powder/talcum powder for an extended period of time you should speak with our talcum powder lawyers at (877) 561-0000 to learn your rights and see if you can hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for their repeated misinformation and denials.