Johnson and Johnson's Pvt Ltd has run into a legal trouble after Maharashtra's Food and Drugs Administration cancelled its baby powder manufacturing licence. The baby powder reportedly did not meet the standards in the laboratory test.
In its report said the company's baby powder may impact the skin of newborns.
According to reports, the Maharashtra FDA had issued a notice to Johnson and Johnson to recall stocks from the market since the sample did "not conform to IS 5339:2004 with respect to the test for pH."
However, this isn't J&J's first controversy in recent years. The company faces thousands of lawsuits in the US owing to presence of harmful material like asbestos which are cancer-causing.
Why has J&J been in trouble?
Johnson and Johnson's is an American pharmaceutical industry founded in 1886. The company was incorporated in India in 1957 and soon became a household name for almost all baby care products.
However, its baby powder has been under the scanner for quite some time owing to the presence of asbestos. A 2018 Reuters investigation said that the company tried covering up the fact that their baby powder contained cancer-causing asbestos. Last month, the company announced it would stop selling talc-based baby powder globally in 2023. The sale of the product was already stopped in the US two years ago after several consumer safety lawsuits. These included cancer patients who alleged their cancer was caused by the baby powder.
"As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio," Johnson and Johnson's had said then. It said the demand for the product had fallen due"misinformation" about the product's safety.
According to a Reuters report, the company faced around "38,000 lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen."
Despite the announcement to shut the sales of the talc-based baby product, company has maintained that the product is safe and asbestos-free.
What are the lawsuits against J&J?
The lawsuits against the company began from early 90s. One of the first persons to sue the company was Darlene Coker who alleged that Johnson and Johnson's talc was the cause of her mesothelioma--a cancer that affects the tissue of various organs. The Reuters investigation of 2018 said that from 1971 to 2000s, the raw talc did test positive for the presence of "small amounts of asbestos". "And that company executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public," the report said.
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