A subcommittee of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform met last week to hear testimony from a mesothelioma victim and others about the safety of cosmetic talc powder products. There is a significant concern about asbestos contamination in these products following thousands of lawsuits being filed against the manufacture of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc manufacturers, and the lawmakers are trying to determine whether more robust testing of these products is needed to protect the public.
Lawsuits Filed Against Talc Companies
There have been over 16,000 lawsuits filed against the talc product companies by people diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. All of the victims or their survivors are accusing companies like Johnson & Johnson’s of knowing that their products were contaminated with asbestos, yet despite the importance of the question and the level of concern expressed by Congressional leaders, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson’s failed to show up at the hearing.
Speaking of the failure of Alex Gorsky to appear alongside several doctors and a mesothelioma victim, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois and chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy expressed his disappointment. “While Mr. Gorsky has not refrained from making multiple public statements on this topic, including authoring written statements and speaking with media outlets, he has now avoided voluntarily testifying under oath before Congress,” he said.
Hearings On Asbestos in Talc to Continue
The hearing at which the mesothelioma victim testified was the second that Congress held regarding the safety of cosmetic talcum powder. The first followed news from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of discovering asbestos in samples of several cosmetic products, as well as word of subpoenas having been issued by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regarding asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc products.
At the most recent hearing, mesothelioma was one of the top subjects to be discussed, as well as discrepancies in testing methods. One of the goals of the hearings is to identify the most accurate method of testing for the presence of the carcinogenic material. Congressman Krishnamoorthi has requested additional documents from Johnson & Johnson’s and has promised another hearing on the safety of the product in the future.
If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease and you suspect that your asbestos exposure came from the use of a talc-based product, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.