U.S. agencies probing Johnson & Johnson over asbestos in talc
(HealthDay)—Johnson & Johnson is being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over possible asbestos contamination of the company's baby powder and other talc-based products.
In a securities filing, the company said it was "cooperating with these government inquiries and will be producing documents in response" to subpoenas it had received, The New York Times reported. In a separate statement, Johnson & Johnson said that "the inquiries are related to news reports" about numerous lawsuits by consumers who claim the company's talc products caused cancers.
Johnson & Johnson has been hit with about 13,000 lawsuits linking the company's body powders with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, the Times reported. In December, news reports said internal documents revealed decades of communications within Johnson & Johnson about the risk for asbestos in its talc products even as the company tried to keep the issue secret.
On Wednesday, Johnson & Johnson said "decades of independent tests by regulators and the world's leading labs prove Johnson & Johnson's baby powder is safe and asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer," the Times reported.
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