Wednesday, 26 June, 2019

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

Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Knew of Asbestos Johnson & Johnson found to have concealed knowledge that its Baby Powder contained asbestos
Anna Jefferson | 15 December, 2018, 02:30

The Reuters report and the documents it refers to are available online here.

The Reuters report noted that most internal J&J asbestos tests did not find asbestos, but said that while the company's testing methods had improved over time, they "have always had limitations that allow trace contaminants to go undetected" and that only a "tiny fraction" of the company's talc is ever tested.

The documents also depict successful efforts to influence USA regulators' plans to limit asbestos in cosmetic talc products and scientific research on the health effects of talc, the report states.

Company documents, along with deposition and trial testimony, show that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, tests showed small amounts of asbestos could sometimes be found in the company's raw talc and finished powders, Reuters reported.

So far, the company has suffered several multimillion-dollar losses in cases alleging the product causes cancer.

The Reuters report also shows the company had commissioned and paid for studies conducted on its baby powder franchise and hired a ghostwriter to redraft the article that presented the findings in a journal.

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The three-time all-star batted.246/.336/.474 with 32 home runs and a team-leading 107 RBIs with the Indians last season. Santana spent his first eight seasons in Cleveland before signing with the Phillies last winter.

Meanwhile, shares in Johnson & Johnson fell more than six percent on Friday, on track to post their biggest percentage drop in more than a decade following the Reuters report. The company said that it has fully cooperated with the Food & Drug Administration and other global regulators over decades, and used the "most advanced testing methods available" to ensure that its cosmetic talc is asbestos-free.

Furthermore, "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", Reuters reporter Lisa Girion wrote.

J&J stock - up 6 percent for the year - plunged 11 percent on news of the report, based on memos, internal documents and confidential memos that the maker of Johnson's Baby Powder had been compelled to share with attorneys for some 11,700 plaintiffs who claim the company's powder products caused their cancers. But in many instances, J&J has been able to overturn the verdicts on appeal.

'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.

Johnson & Johnson successfully defended a lawsuit over asbestos in 1999, but in two cases earlier this year - in New Jersey and California - juries awarded big sums to plaintiffs who blamed asbestos-tainted J&J talc products for their mesothelioma.

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