J&J Re-Launches Baby Care Line Amid Growing Consumer Concerns About Cancer-Causing Talc
May 24, 2018 09:28 AM EDT
Faced with consumer fears about product safety and declining sales, Johnson & Johnson has announced a re-launch of its iconic line of baby care products. However, the company continues to rely on the use of talc in its Johnson's Baby Powder, despite dozens of scientific studies pointing to the cancer-causing properties of talc.
The company has reported that overall sales of the brand's Baby Care line have decreased by 20 percent since 2011, while sales in the first quarter of 2018 fell 14 percent in the U.S. But J&J denies that health concerns are fueling the decline.
"There is overwhelming evidence that Johnson & Johnson has known about the links between talcum powder and cancer for decades," says Ted Meadows, attorney at the law firm of Beasley Allen. "They knew that the mining process that extracts talc can taint it with asbestos, heavy metals and other chemicals that can cause cancer. J&J has fought to conceal the facts rather than taking steps to protect consumers by pulling those products from the market, or even properly labeling them."
During the past 18 months, competing manufacturers of baby powder have begun placing warnings on their products highlighting the health risks of using talcum powder in the female genital area.
Numerous medical studies over the past four decades have documented how talcum powder applied to the genital area can travel to the ovaries and lead to ovarian cancer. Other research has shown that inhaling talcum powder can lead to mesothelioma and other lung diseases.
In April, a New Jersey jury returned a verdict against J&J and its talc supplier totaling more than $117 million, finding that asbestos fibers in talcum powder contributed to the mesothelioma diagnosis of a 46-year-old banker. Last week, a trial began in South Carolina involving claims that a 30-year-old woman died from cancer linked to asbestos in talcum powder.
"Meanwhile, J&J is removing dyes, preservatives and sulfates from other products because the company says it has a responsibility to remove these ingredients even though they're safe," said Mr. Meadows. "But the company continues to deny the science and statements in their own documents about the risks from talc. That should be troubling to consumers everywhere."
Mr. Meadows has represented victims in several trials in which juries have found that genital use of Johnson's Baby Powder directly led to women's ovarian cancer. Nationwide almost 9,000 lawsuits have been filed based on similar claims.
Image: Valerie Everett | Flickr