J&J rocked by Reuters re­port

Fresh al­le­ga­tions worry In­dian con­sumers

Mother & Baby - - LIFE & KIDS -

“When it rains, it pours”. That old adage could well ap­ply to the ad­verse press re­ports that the New Jer­sey head­quar­tered John­son & John­son (J&J) has been be­sieged by over the re­cent past. J&J which has dom­i­nated the talc mar­ket for over 100 years and which is a house­hold name in In­dia has been fac­ing flack over re­ports of its talc con­tain­ing as­bestos. Af­ter sev­eral law­suits filed by women claim­ing its talc caused them ovar­ian can­cer, the world was rocked by a Reuters story pub­lished in mid De­cem­ber 2018 which dis­closed that on their re­view of memos and in­ter­nal doc­u­ments, J&J had de­lib­er­ately, and for decades, with­held the fact that their baby pow­der con­tained small amounts of as­bestos, a known car­cino­gen. Al­though talc com­prises only a small com­po­nent of J&J’s rev­enues, its baby pow­der has helped build the im­age of a car­ing Com­pany and the Reuters re­port saw its shares bat­tered on the New York Stock ex­change as in­vestors and con­sumers di­gested the news. J&J on its part re­but­ted the con­tents of the Reuters re­port, which it de­scribed as “one sided, false and in­flam­ma­tory” and said that its baby pow­der is safe and does not cause can­cer and re­peated tests have found it to be as­bestos free. In­dia’s drug reg­u­la­tor has now in­ter­vened and vis­ited J&J’s fa­cil­i­ties and taken sam­ples of its talc and other prod­ucts for test­ing. In the in­terim it has re­quired the Com­pany to stop man­u­fac­tur­ing its baby pow­der us­ing the ex­ist­ing raw ma­te­ri­als. J&J, In­dian con­sumers and com­peti­tors will await the reg­u­la­tors re­port with bated breath. .

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