Johnson & Johnson knew for decades their baby powder was tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and they kept that information from regulators and the public. A government-funded study from the mid-1990s found that Johnson’s baby powder caused cancer in rats and other studies have found an increased risk of cancer in women who used their talc-based products. The potential risks have been known to the company for decades.
What’s more, in 2018, the pharma giant was ordered to pay $4.7 billion to thousands of victims who reportedly developed cancer from using Johnson & Johnson’s products. In that case, 22 women alleged the company’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, contained the known carcinogen, asbestos, which caused them to develop cancer. According to reports, there are over 9,000 similar talc lawsuits against the company.
Currently faced with several major lawsuits for fueling the opioid crisis in the United States, Johnson & Johnson also has a history of bribing doctors and government officials. Even more disturbing still, a Reuters investigation found that J&J knowingly sold a baby powder product that they knew had asbestos in it, which causes mesothelioma.