For the second time in the last three months, Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay millions of dollars to an ovarian cancer patient who developed the disease after using their talcum powder.
A jury in St. Louis awarded $US55 million to Gloria Ristesund, a 62-year old woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. In February, another St. Louis jury had awarded $US72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer.
After a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and other operations, doctors found talc in Gloria’s ovarian tissues. The lawsuit was filed against the company for not disclosing the complete information of its talc- based products for years. Some case studies have indicated that regular use of talcum powder on the genital area can increase the risk of ovarian cancer by 40 percent whereas other studies have found no definitive link. The Onder Law firm that handled this case claimed to have around 1200 other talcum powder related lawsuits pending.
The track record of the company
This is not for the first time when Johnson & Johnson has been targeted for hiding the product information. The company was targeted by health and consumer groups over ingredients used in its products, such as Johnson’s No More Tears baby shampoo. After three years of petitions and boycott threat, the company agreed to eliminate 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde, both considered probable carcinogens, from all products by 2015.
The Logical Indian requests the Indian government to regulate the sale of personal care products. The manufacturers should let the consumers know the risks involved in the usage of their products. The government should increase awareness and conduct research on the usage of such products.