Johnson & Johnson: Johnson’s Baby Powders investigated by Justice Department, SEC over asbestos claims

Johnson & Johnson under fire over baby powder

Johnson & Johnson said the Justice Department and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the company amid allegations Johnson’s Baby Powder is contaminated with asbestos, a mineral linked to cancer. 

The health care products company made the disclosure in a regulatory filing, noting that the two agencies have requested documents related to the allegations. “The company is cooperating with these government inquiries and will be producing documents in response,” J&J said in the filing. It didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The investigations come amid a rash of lawsuits against the company over its Johnson’s Baby Powder, a talc-based product that J&J has maintained is safe. Last year, a jury awarded $4.7 billion in total damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in the talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer. 

J&J is also facing securities lawsuits claiming it failed to disclose the alleged asbestos contamination in its Baby Powder, leading to financial losses for investors. 

The company’s shares plunged in December after a Reuters report alleged J&J knew about asbestos contamination in talcum powder for decades but failed to alert regulators or consumers.

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