Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
If you make a contribution of $150 or more, you will become an official “Friend of the Planet” and receive a Friend of the Planet T-shirt or water bottle. You can also submit opinion essays to us for our consideration for posting on our new “Bright Ideas” op-ed page.
Using the “cover” of the COVID-19 crisis, one of the largest healthcare product companies in the world decided to stop selling in the U.S. and Canada its “signature” talc-based baby powder product due to concerns over whether it was contaminated withtoxic asbestos that thousands of women alleged caused their ovarian cancer.The company said it will still sell the product in other markets, but chose to discontinue sales here rather than add a safety warning because they stand by the safety of the product. Sales of baby powder have been declining, but its decision is seen as “a huge concession for Johnson & Johnson, which has for more than a century promoted the powder as pure and gentle enough for babies,” The New York Times reported.
Why This Matters: This is another case of a company knowing that their product contained harmful chemicals and selling it anyway — like the oil companies that knew about the greenhouse gas effect of burning petroleum. Internal memos and reports showed that the company had been concerned for at least 50 years about the possibility of traces of asbestos in its talc as well as the links of the chemical to cancer. They now sell only corn-starched based powder instead. Good.
Many Women Complained
As of March, there were 19,400 lawsuits against J&J and the company is going to have to defend the talc’s safety — a judge in one of the pending cases will allow expert witnesses called by the plaintiff’s to testify overruling J&J’s efforts to block them. The record in the litigation so far is a mixed bag — J&J has lost some big cases but prevailed in others. The lawsuits will still go forward and it is unclear how the company’s decision to stop selling the product will impact them. The women suing the company expressed relief at the company’s decision. The asbestos issue was not going away. As we reported last October, J&J was forced to recall 33,000 bottles of baby powder in the United States after the Food and Drug Administration found trace amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in samples taken from a bottle purchased online.
The International Energy Agency stated in its annual World Energy Investment report released yesterday that the unparalleled decline in worldwide energy investment had been “staggering in both its scale and swiftness.” Investment in global energy is expected fall by $400bn this year, the biggest drop in the industry’s history As CNBC reported, the IEA “warned […]
In April, Vice President Mike Pence predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would be over by Memorial Day weekend. We’ve just passed that milestone and in the United States nearly 100,000 Americans have lost their lives to the virus. Despite warnings from the World Health Organization that countries with declining infection rates could still face an […]
While Michigan is facing record flooding and a pandemic, protestors began giving out free haircuts outside the state’s Capitol in defiance of the governor’s stay-at-home order. In the United States, data suggests that protestors around the country have played a part in spreading COVID-19 through their risky behavior. Incidentally, as Emily Holden reported for the […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.