Murray demands answers from Johnson & Johnson CEO following Reuters report indicating the company covered up potential asbestos in its baby powder for decades.
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Senator Patty Murray, (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, sent a letter to Alex Gorsky, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson & Johnson, demanding information regarding what the company knew when about potential asbestos in its talcum-based consumer products. The letter comes in light of recent reporting from Reuters indicating the company knew for decades about asbestos contaminating its baby powder.
“I am troubled by recent reports of an alleged decades-long effort by Johnson & Johnson to potentially mislead regulators and consumers about the safety of one of its products, which may have resulted in long-term harm for men, women, and children who used Johnson & Johnson baby powder. According to a December 2017 Reuters report, ‘from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the company’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos, and… company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public.’ I therefore request documents and information related to Johnson & Johnson’s safety record in order to understand more about efforts by Johnson & Johnson to determine whether there were possible carcinogens in its baby power and how it presented that information to regulators and consumers,” wrote Senator Murray.