Johnson & Johnson Makes A Case That Talc is Asbestos-Free
Sharp arguments were made from both sides during the current talcum powder cancer trial
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 - A California jury is currently in deliberations in yet another trial of a woman who allegedly contracted mesothelioma from using Johnson's Baby Powder containing asbestos-contaminated talc. If plaintiffs attorneys in the current Baby Powder cancer trial had their druthers, the iconic baby face that graces bottles of Johnson's Baby Powder would be replaced with a large skull and crossbones, much like any other poison. Instead of implying the message "pour this liberally all over your baby, three times per day, every day," a warning message might more accurately read "KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN." Instead of encouraging minority women that they could escalate their social status and "smell better" by using baby powder for feminine hygiene, the message could have been "using talcum powder can cause HORRIBLE PAIN AND SUFFERING leading to certain death." As preposterous as these statements may sound, they may be true, and I'm not even exaggerating. If the testimony and expert witnesses against Johnson & Johnson are to be believed, the safety profile of Johnson's Baby Powder made from talc and promoted by the company's marketing department for the last 50 years, maybe the biggest mass marketing lie ever. National Talcum Powder lawsuits represented by top national attorneys offering a free consultation before filing a lawsuit claim.
Attorneys for a former schoolteacher claim that the risks of developing cancer from using the product were knowable and in fact known by the company. Internal company memos presented at trial demonstrate discussions amongst company executive pertaining to how to discourage the FDA from changing the required asbestos testing methods to a much more sensitive level, indicating that they knew that the company had placed its testing threshold just above what would reveal the presence of asbestos. Attorneys claim Johnson & Johnson intentionally misrepresented the product's description by using the term "pure" as they knew that their talc was anything but. Even so, no effort was ever made to place a warning label on the bottle. According to the Northern California Record, "Johnson & Johnson in their marketing department knew it was a problem. They told doctors in the 1970s there was no asbestos in the product. They wanted to enhance the franchise," plaintiffs attorneys stated. In addition, the plaintiff's expert witness testified that he has found not only asbestos but also tremolite and chrysotile, both asbestos derivatives that in and of themselves could contribute to cancer, specifically ovarian cancer which make up the majority of the over 12,000 cases pending against the pharmaceutical conglomerate.
Incredibly, Johnson & Johnson's primary defense in the case appears to be that the plaintiff's mesothelioma is "a spontaneously contracted disease and not (caused by) using cosmetic talc powder." The defense argued that although all asbestos causes mesothelioma, not all mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. JNJ attorneys argued that there are many ways the woman could have been infected. "In women, 80 to 90 percent of mesothelioma cases can't be attributed to exposure to asbestos. Johnson's baby powder is simply not contaminated with asbestos," said attorneys according to The Record. The defense also indicated that no company that keeps a record of every conversation for over 75 years would be trying to conceal what they knew to be a crime and that there was no malice of forethought or deception on the part of the company. The only deception the defense claimed was the "cherry-picking" of a fact here and a fact there and pasting them together to confuse the jury.