• Over the past 50 years, the FDA has relied upon–and often deferred to–industry even as outside experts and consumers repeatedly raised serious health concerns about talc powders and cosmetics, a Reuters investigation found.
  • Again and again since at least the 1970s, the agency has downplayed the risk of asbestos contamination and declined to issue warnings or impose safety standards, according to documents produced in court proceedings and in response to public records requests.
  • Amid heightened scrutiny in Congress, a criminal investigation of J&J and costly jury verdicts against the company, the regulator commissioned tests that found asbestos in 11 talc-based cosmetics, including Johnson’s Baby Powder.
  • Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois congressman who chairs a U.S. House subcommittee investigating talc safety, told Reuters it was time for regulators to stop relying on manufacturers’ safety assurances.
  • The agency’s testing of talc-based cosmetics this year followed jury verdicts totalling more than $5 billion against J&J in cancer lawsuits, as well as a Dec. 14 Reuters report  showing that J&J knew its raw talc and powders sometimes tested positive for asbestos from the 1970s into the early 2000s and did not report those findings to the agency.
  • Two years later, FDA records show, the agency found asbestos in a sample of Shower to Shower, a J&J powder at the time that was made with the same talc as Johnson’s Baby Powder.

Read full article: reuters.com

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