Multinational medical company Johnson & Johnson fighting allegations it knew about carcinogens in its Baby Powder

A woman who two decades ago claimed Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Baby Powder caused her ovarian cancer has become the catalyst to an investigation into whether the company knowingly sold products containing a carcinogen.

American woman Darlene Coker, 52, sued the brand in 1999 but had to abandon her case after J&J refused to disclose confidential documents and denied the allegations.

Twenty years on, the company has once again been forced to defend itself, after international news agency Reuters exposed information alleging the detection of asbestos in J&J’s talc products as early as 1971.

Following publication of the article on Friday, December 14, nearly 12,000 others have come forward claiming the company’s talc powder had also caused their cancer.

In the report, Reuters alleged “the company’s powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J kept that information from regulators and the public.”

In a written report defending itself against Reuters’ allegations, J&J claimed the news outlet purposely omitted information supplied by the manufacturer that demonstrated Baby Powder did not cause cancer and was safe for use.

The report also stated the Baby Powder was asbestos free, had been repeatedly screened for the contaminant, and the company had cooperated with US and other regulators.

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