India’s drug regulator is said to be investigating Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for alleged traces of cancer-causing Asbestos: Report


  • India’s drug regulator is reportedly investigating Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for alleged traces of cancer-causing element Asbestos, following an investigative report by Reuters.
  • J&J, in response to the allegations has reportedly said that the report is ‘one-sided, false and inflammatory’ adding that numerous tests by regulators and leading labs have approved the baby powder and that the product has never contained asbestos.
  • Drug inspectors have reportedly sought samples of the talc in question from its manufacturing unit — including raw talc and finished product being sold in the market.
  • The baby powder was investigated earlier in 2016, but the test found no traces of asbestos and was declared in compliance with Indian regulatory standards.
As US multinational Johnson & Johnson’s moves aggressively to refute damning allegations made by a recent Reuters report claiming the company ‘knew for decades’ that traces of asbestos may have been found in its baby powder, Indian drug regulators are reportedly investigating the claim.

J&J, in response to the allegations has reportedly said that the Reuters report is ‘one-sided, false and inflammatory,’ adding that numerous tests by regulators and leading labs have approved the baby powder and that the product has never contained asbestos. It also took out full-page advertisements in the US stating that it has scientific evidence its talc is safe and it would have been off the shelves if it wasn’t.

The talc is, practically, omnipresent in Indian homes as well as globally, and has a potential market share of nearly 1.3 billion in India. It will reportedly be tested at India’s central drug laboratory, said a Mint report.

The drug inspectors licensed under the drug regulatory in India, has already collected samples of the talc in question from its manufacturing unit — including raw talc and finished product that is being sold in the market, according to separate Reuters report on Wednesday.

However, the baby powder product was investigated earlier in 2016 as well, but the test found no traces of asbestos and was declared as being compliant with Indian regulatory standards, Reuters reported citing a senior official from India’s drug regulator Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO).

While the Reuters report claimed to have examined several internal test reports and said that the talc in question — raw and finished powder — sometimes showed positive test results for having small amount of Asbestos spanning 1971 to early 2000s, the company has said that the talc is ‘safe and Asbestos free.’

Notably, the company agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit by a woman who claimed to have acquired cancer because of the asbestos, according to a report. Earlier this year, the giant was also reportedly asked to pay $4.7 billion to 22 women who had alleged that they acquired cancer due to asbestos in the talc.

As soon as the allegations came out, the company saw a significant dip in its shares, wiping over $40 billion in market value.

See also:
'The stock reaction is not supported by science': Here's what Wall Street is saying about the safety concerns involving Johnson & Johnson's baby powder

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