Johnson & Johnson knew baby power contained asbestos, report says

Johnson & Johnson knew baby power contained asbestos, report says

Johnson & Johnson knew baby power contained asbestos, report says

News of the cover-up slammed United States shares of Johnson & Johnson, causing a fall of 10 per cent on Friday, putting it on track to post their biggest percentage drop in more than 16 years. When the company's internal company records were forced to be made available to lawyers fighting for the women, Reuters got access to them and found evidence.

"There is no safe amount of exposure to asbestos, and when we're talking about a product that's used on babies, we need to be extra vigilant".

Reuters reviewed documents, deposition, and trial testimony from at least 1971 to the early 2000s that they say showed powders and raw talc sometimes tested positively for small traces of asbestos.

The report said company officials fretted over the test results while keeping the information private and failing to disclose the test results to regulators and the public.

Johnson & Johnson, as Reuters noted, "has dominated the talc powder market for more than 100 years, its sales outpacing those of all competitors combined". Investors have expressed some concern over the lawsuits, though J&J has successful won a number of cases. The company said it planned to appeal that verdict and has continued to deny that its products caused harm.

The reports say that Johnson & Johnson were well aware of the fact that their products at times contained carcinogenic asbestos and tried their best to keep the findings hidden from the public and health officials. Just this July, a Missouri jury ordered the company to pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women and their families.


In an email to the news service, J&J's media relations vice president Ernie Knewitz said the plaintiffs' attorneys in those lawsuits are "out for personal financial gain" and are "distorting historical documents and intentionally creating confusion in the courtroom and in the media".

Reuters said that J&J turned down repeated requests for an interview for more than two months.

Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly denied that its talc products contain asbestos...

In a statement posted on its website, Johnson & Johnson described the Reuters report as "one-sided, false and inflammatory".

The Reuters report pointed out that, in an internal memo from 1976, one of the company's talc overseers also wrote that if stricter methods for testing talc became mandatory, the company would be "hard pressed in supporting purity claims". The company knew that some of the products contained the cancer-causing material, but insisted it was a small amount that wasn't harmful to consumers.

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