Johnson & Johnson is being sued by more than 1,000 women who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s Baby Powder product. The lawsuit is based on the assertion that the company knew their product was associated with an increased cancer risk but deliberately withheld that information from the public.
For generations, women have used the product to keep the genital area feeling “fresh and clean,” as one plaintiff (who has since died from the disease) put it.
A link between talcum powder – the main ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder – and ovarian cancer has been suspected for 45 years, but the company ignored the scientific findings, even after further statistical studies in 1982 confirmed the link.
Over the years, Johnson & Johnson has put a great deal of effort in convincing consumers that their products – particularly their line of baby products, which includes J&J Baby Powder – are safe and trustworthy. It is believed that this may be the reason the company withheld the information linking their baby powder product with ovarian cancer – they wanted to protect their reputation at all costs.
The truth about one of America’s most “trusted” brands
But Johnson & Johnson products are not nearly as safe as the company would like consumers to believe. In fact, there have been a number of lawsuits in recent years involving J&J products.
Johnson & Johnson has spent more than $5 billion to resolve legal claims over its drugs and medical devices since 2013. That year, it agreed to pay $2.2 billion to settle criminal and civil probes into claims that it illegally marketed Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, to children and the elderly; two other medicines were included in the settlement. It was one of the largest health fraud penalties in U.S. history. The company has also agreed to pay some $2.8 billion to resolve lawsuits about its artificial hips and $120 million for faulty vaginal-mesh inserts. In its 2015 annual report, J&J stated that more than 75,000 people had filed product liability claims, and that didn’t include the talc powder cases.
In 1982, a study by Daniel Cramer, an epidemiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, was published showing a statistical link between genital talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. Shortly after, Cramer was contacted by J&J executive Bruce Semple, who asked for a meeting between the two.
In Cramer’s testimony from a 2011 court filing:
Dr. Semple spent his time trying to convince me that talc use was a harmless habit, while I spent my time trying to persuade him to consider the possibility that my study could be correct and that women should be advised of this potential risk of talc.
Cramer now says he believes the chief motivation behind the withholding of the information was to protect the company’s reputation. “I don’t think this was a question of money,” he said. “I think it was pride of ownership. Baby Powder is a signature product for J&J.”
The revelations about Johnson & Johnson are a glaring example of how American corporations are willing to lie and withhold vital information regarding the safety of products that generate billions in profits.
The tobacco industry, of course, is another example.
A cynical breach of trust in pursuit of profits
It is shameful when a company spends so much time and effort to build a trusted reputation, while covering up any evidence that their products may be unsafe.
Johnson & Johnson’s carefully constructed corporate image has led millions to believe that the company actually cares about the health of people who buy its products, and that those products are completely safe.
In fact, it’s difficult to think of any other company that has successfully cultivated more trust from its customers – until now.
Sadly, it seems that J&J is just as cynical, deceitful and profit-minded as the tobacco industry – it turns out they are just another corporate wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing.
Written by Daniel Barker for Natural News, April 12, 2016.
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