Johnson & Johnson is currently wrestling with over 14,000 lawsuits regarding its famous Baby Powder; the litigants are saying that it caused them to develop cancer. Most recently, the FDA found asbestos contamination in one of the Baby Powder lots, something that Johnson & Johnson is trying to fight. Asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer. Some women are also claiming that it caused them to develop ovarian cancer. While the verdicts have been mixed, recent verdicts have been for plaintiffs, with judgments in the tens of millions of dollars.
CNBC reports that a Johnson & Johnson CEO has spurned the U.S. Congressional hearing on carcinogens in the company’s talc products.
Johnson & Johnson Chief Executive Officer Alex Gorsky declined to appear at a U.S. Congressional hearing that was set for Tuesday. The hearing was concerning the safety of the company’s Baby Powder and other talc-based cosmetics.
The House of Representatives Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy made efforts to persuade Gorsky to testify, including granting accommodations to the company.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat who is chairing the House panel investigating the presence of carcinogens in cosmetic talc and powders, said he was disappointed in the decision not to show up.
A spokesman for Johnson & Johnson said that the subcommittee declined the offer to send a talc testing expert or an executive in charge of consumer products.
Gorsky has been a leader in the efforts to reassure both consumers and shareholders that Johnson & Johnson’s products are safe. He also rebutted a Reuters report claiming the company was aware of the presence of asbestos for decades and hid it.
However, Johnson & Johnson released a statement that said that Gorsky was not an expert in the subject matter being investigated by the committee.
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