from Fellowship Of The Minds:
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is an American multinational medical devices, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturing company founded in 1886. With worldwide sales of $70.1 billion in 2015, J&J is headquartered in New Brunswick, NJ, and includes some 250 subsidiary companies with operations in 60 countries and products sold in over 175 countries.
Among J&J’s well-known consumer products are Band-Aid bandages, Tylenol, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, Acuvue contact lenses, and Johnson’s baby products, including Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, 70% of which is used by adults, according to the company.
Johnson’s Baby Powder grew out of a line of medicated plasters — sticky rubber strips loaded with mustard and other home remedies. When customers complained of skin irritation, J&J’s founding brothers sent packets of talc. Soon, mothers began applying the talc to infants’ diaper-chafed skin. The Johnsons took note. They sifted the talc into tin boxes and added a fragrance that would become one of the most recognizable in the world. In 1893, they began selling it as Johnson’s Baby Powder.
J&J has dominated the talc powder market for more than 100 years, its sales outpacing those of all competitors combined, according to Euromonitor International data. And while talc products contributed just $420 million to J&J’s $76.5 billion in revenue last year, Baby Powder is considered an essential facet of J&J’s carefully tended image as a caring company – a “sacred cow,” as one 2003 internal email put it. (Reuters)
Decades of solid science show that asbestos, a naturally-occurring silicate mineral, causes mesothelioma and is associated with ovarian and other cancers. Talc can sometimes be contaminated with asbestos due to the proximity of asbestos ore (usually tremolite) in underground talc deposits.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and other authorities recognize no safe level of exposure to asbestos. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans.” 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.
There are many lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson claiming that its talcum powder products, like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, gave users cancer. Most of the talc cases have been brought by women with ovarian cancer who say they regularly used J&J talc products as a perineal antiperspirant and deodorant. As examples:
- In February 2016, J&J was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of 62-year-old Jacqueline Fox, who died of ovarian cancer in 2015.
- By March 2017, over 1,000 U.S. women had sued J&J for covering up the possible cancer risk of its Baby Powder product.
- In August 2017, a California jury ordered J&J to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s talc-based products like Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.
- In July 2018, a St. Louis jury awarded nearly US$4.7 billion in damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in J&J talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer.
- By December 2018, some 11,700 people have sued J&J over cancers allegedly caused by its baby powder.
Lisa Girion reports for Reuters, Dec. 14, 2018, that internal J&J documentsexamined by Reuters show that the company’s powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J concealed that information from government regulators and the public.
AND YET, WE ARE CONSTANTLY BEING TOLD THERE ARE NO CONSPIRACIES AND THAT “CONSPIRACY THEORISTS” ARE LOONY.
After avoiding to hand over talc test results and other internal company records for decades, J&J finally was compelled to share thousands of pages of company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents with lawyers for some of the 11,700 plaintiffs suing the company, including thousands of women with ovarian cancer.