When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said its tests detected small amounts of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson baby powder, the company immediately questioned the findings. Johnson & Johnson, while recalling the product, said it was “working with the FDA to determine the integrity of the tested sample, and the validity of the test results.”
Just a couple weeks later, Johnson & Johnson was touting its own, new results. The company said third-party labs conducted 15 tests on the same bottle of baby powder the FDA examined. Of those 15 new tests, none turned up any evidence of asbestos. Similarly, the company claimed lab tests on samples of the recalled baby powder also showed no asbestos.
But should consumers have confidence in Johnson & Johnson’s most recent claims? No. The simple truth is, whenever J&J, an outside lab, the FDA, plaintiff’s litigation experts, use the correct testing method and correct microscope, asbestos is found in the J&J baby powder. When they incorrectly use a testing method and microscope designed to not find asbestos, they don’t find it.
Johnson & Johnson’s Questionable History
Johnson & Johnson insists its products and processes are safe, but the company’s track record regarding asbestos disclosure is littered with concerns.
A Reuters investigation from December 2018 uncovered internal documents that showed not only did Johnson & Johnson know about tests that revealed asbestos in some products, but they chose to not share that information with the public or regulators. According to Reuters, the documents show that from 1971 until the early 2000s, some tests on raw talc and finished powders were positive for asbestos. The company kept it quiet, according to the report.
Johnson & Johnson is now facing mounting lawsuits, alleging asbestos in their products led to not just mesothelioma but ovarian cancer. The company has repeatedly denied any connection between its baby powder and those ailments, and reiterated its belief that decades of testing has shown the talc it uses to be free of asbestos.
This is a vital time for consumer safety. People should be able to trust that the products they buy are safe. So often however, we have seen opposite. Thousands of consumer products are known to have contained asbestos at one time or another, including:
- Cosmetic products
Those individuals harmed by corporate inaction often have little say in the future. For those who do want to find some sense of justice, filing a personal injury lawsuit may be an option.