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December 17, 2018

Johnson & Johnson denies claims made in Reuters' tainted Baby Powder report

The company says its uses the "safest pharmaceutical-grade talc on earth"

Children's Health Report
12142018_johnson_baby_powder_Flickr Mike Mozart/via Flickr Creative Commons

Johnson's Baby Powder.

Johnson & Johnson released a statement on Monday in response to a report that the talcum in its Baby Powder sometimes contains asbestos. 

The company, which is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, denied the claims made in a Reuters report that the company's powder was "sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos," and was hid from regulators and the public.

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson failed to disclose asbestos in its Baby Powder, report says

J&J is calling the report "sensationalism" after its shares fell another 4 percent (and counting) on Monday. According to, the report loped $40 billion off the iconic brand's market value.

On the company's Twitter account, Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky issued a video statement, calling it the "safest" talc "on earth." J&J also published a page on its website that outlines the science and safety behind its use of the mineral.  

"We know that our talc is safe. In fact, for over 100 years, Johnson & Johnson has known that the talc in our Baby Powder is the purest, safest, pharmaceutical-grade talc on earth," Gorksy said.

The Reuters report released on Friday examines thousands of lawsuits that allege the company's talcum powder causes cancer. But based on internal documents examined by Reuters, the company's powder allegedly sometimes was tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and intentionally kept from regulators and the public. 

According to Reuters, between 1972 and 1975 the company failed to disclose to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that at least three tests by three separate labs found asbestos in its talc. Reuters also reported that the company's tests allegedly included limitations that enabled trace amounts to go undetected. 

You can read the entire report here.

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