On Friday, shares in the multinational pharma giant corporation Johnson & Johnson plunged a massive percentage, over 10%, after Reuters published an explosive report proving in concrete detail how the corporation had been fully aware that asbestos was tainting their signature baby powder product used by countless millions of people, for decades, while failing to do anything about it.
This is because talcum, which is thought to be similarly toxic in itself, is harvested from the Earth in close proximity to asbestos.
The sheer amount of money Johnson & Johnson has recently been ordered to pay is beyond the comprehension of any ordinary, non-wealthy individual. In July, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay a whopping $4.7bn (£3.6bn) in damages, which is a raise from the $70 million promised to one woman who suffered from ovarian cancer as a result of their toxic baby powder.
22 women who claim Johnson & Johnson’s signature product gave them ovarian cancer, once thought of as some kind of staple thing to have in your bathroom in America, will be the recipients of this well deserved $4.7 billion, and at this point the situation has to be one of the biggest or at least most expensive medical scandals in history.
Reuters performed a review of documents, and found that Johnson & Johnson had been fully aware of those critical, “trace” amounts of asbestos in their product since at least 1971: for almost 50 years now, or a little over 30 years if it indeed stopped in the early 2000’s as they claim.
Lawyers representing Johnson & Johnson didn’t have a lot to say. However they tried, and they said “Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free.”
“The Reuters article is one-sided, false and inflammatory. Simply put, the Reuters story is an absurd conspiracy theory.”
That conspiracy phrase is used so often, it’s being used in a landmark court case, and it’s failing.
Most tests performed on their talcum powder showed no asbestos, but until the early 2000’s at least, the firm’s internal tests sometimes revealed small amounts of asbestos in the finished product.
The massive chunk taken out of Johnson & Johnson’s stock value made them arguable the “biggest loser on the Dow,” as one post described it. That’s just the most shallow layer of comprehension when it comes to what really happened here, however.
It’s odd that one particular issue may grab the spotlight, or fit in to the legal jigsaw puzzle in a specific way which makes it possible for a company this large to be forced to pay several billion dollars to their victims, because it seems products that are actually worse, sold by the other largest multinational pharma corporations, are still in circulation.
Other products could be harming people worse right now, only to make headlines far after it is too late in the future.
However, if people want to know the true appearance of corruption and how a genuine story of it sounds, Johnson & Johnson was also embroiled in a racketeering scandal that involved a financial institution, and the head of the FDA, one of the most powerful regulatory agencies in America and the entire world.
Margaret Hamburg resigned from the FDA after being exposed for enriching her husband’s hedge fund, and their connection to Johnson & Johnson, as detailed at 14:15 in this video.
Margaret Hamburg’s RICO lawsuit back before her resignation said:
“During the confirmation process before Congress, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, acting in concert with her husband, Peter F. Brown, at all material times the Co-CEO of a hedge fund named Renaissance Technologies, L.L.C., failed to disclose to Congress and other relevant authorities, her and her husband’s clear-cut conflict of interest –specifically, that Renaissance Technologies, L.L.C. held hundreds of millions of dollars of Johnson & Johnson stock, the manufacturer of the deadly drug, Levaquin.”