FDA Finds Asbestos In Johnson & Johnson Powder; Company Recalls 33,000 Bottles
October 20th, 2019 / 5:37 PM
After health regulators found traces of asbestos in a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby (J&J) powder sold online, the company has recalled at least 33,000 powder bottles in the US.
This is the first time, the 130-year-old U.S. healthcare company has recalled its baby powder product, and also the first time that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a finding of asbestos.
Government officials said customers should stop using powder from the affected batch “immediately”, the BBC reported.
The U.S. based company following the report had launched a review and claimed prior tests have not found asbestos traces in the powder. The firm cited “an abundance of caution” to voluntary recall one lot of baby powder produced and shipped in the U.S. in 2018.
The company said it was working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to understand the integrity and validity of both the test and results finding asbestos. The company said it is also looking at the possibility of whether the product was tampered with later, according to a BBC report.
“Years of testing, including the FDA’s own testing on prior occasions – and as recently as last month – found no asbestos,” it said.
The FDA has been testing dozens of J&J products including baby powder, opioids, medical devices and the antipsychotic Risperdal for asbestos, a known carcinogen — a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue, amid rising concerns among the public.
The federal agency said that there was no proof that the product was counterfeit or had been tainted during testing.
The FDA “stands by the quality of its testing and results”, it said. The regulatory body has advised customers with products from lot #22318RB to seek a refund from the company.
Soon after the news of asbestos found in the baby powder broke, shares of J&J slumped down to 6 per cent to close at $127.70 (98.7 pounds), making it the second worst-performing stock in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Currently, the health giant is facing thousands of lawsuits from people who claim its talc products caused cancer. However, the company has denied those accusations.
Written by : Debarghya Sil
Edited by : Bharat Nayak