Johnson & Johnson Sued by Advocacy Group Over Talc Baby Powder
Nicole Winch | August 11, 2021
Last month, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was sued by a black women’s group claiming they were selectively marketed the company’s talcum based baby powder, despite its link to cancer.
The National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), filed the lawsuit in the supreme court of New Jersey. The organization said in the lawsuit that several of its members have used J&J baby powder for years and have now developed ovarian cancer.
For more than a century J&J sold talc-based powder before pulling it off the shelves in the U.S and Canada in 2020, according to its website. Another cancer linked to J&J’s talc products is mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure.
Talc and asbestos are both naturally occurring minerals that can be found in close proximity when being mined. For this reason, talc powder can include traces of asbestos and pose serious health risks.
Although there are currently over 28,000 pending lawsuits against the company, Johnson & Johnson continues to deny any allegations that their products cause cancer. Many of these lawsuits come from women who have used the baby powder on themselves or their children.
According to the New York Times, the lawsuit was specifically filed because of J&J’s “knowingly deceptive marketing to black women.”
“Internal documents demonstrate that J&J targeted those advertisements to Black women, knowing that Black women were more likely to use the powder products and to use them regularly,” the complaint states. “These talc powder products were not safe, however.”
Other internal memos also reportedly mention “opportunities to grow the franchise” by focusing on this race and gender demographic. However, J&J reports these accusations are false.
A company spokesperson stated, “The idea that we would purposefully and systematically target a community with bad intentions is unreasonable and absurd.”
The groups director, Janice Mathis, said another goal of the lawsuit is to create awareness about the health risks involved and to encourage black women who have used these products to get cancer screenings.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and used Johnson & Johnson products, our lawyers are ready to fight your case. Fill out our free case evaluation form today to see how we can get you and your family the compensation you deserve.