Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder Found to Cause Ovarian Cancer
Submitted by DAVID COMISSIONG, Citizen of Barbados
Johnson and Johnson, the American company that manufactures Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder — a product that is sold in Barbados and used extensively by Barbadian women and children — has been hit with a US $4.69 Billion judgment in a law suit in which 22 women (and their families) claimed that asbestos in the company’s talcum powder products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
According to the New York Times newspaper, the judgment — comprising US $4.14 Billion in punitive damages and US $550 Million in compensatory damages — was handed down by a Jury in the Missouri Circuit Court on Thursday 12th July 2018.
The 22 female Plaintiffs had specifically accused the company of failing to warn them about cancer risks associated with its baby and body powders.
The New York Times article also revealed that the company is facing some 9,000 other Plaintiffs in a number of law suits across the United States !
The question that arises for us in Barbados is : Who is informing the women and children of Barbados about these developments and looking out for their interests?
And since we know that many many Barbadian women and children literally lather themselves with Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, we need to inquire whether any Barbadian females might have developed ovarian cancer from use of this product. And, if this is the case, we then need to determine what can be done to ensure that they receive the financial compensation that would be due to them.
If there are Barbadian victims, who will assist them to mount a similar class action law suit against this American multi-national corporation?
Way back in 1981, the Government of Barbados established an agency known as the Barbados National Standards Institution (BNSI) to maintain proper consumer product standards in our country and to protect our people in matters of this nature.
In addition, in 2003 our Government enacted a Consumer Protection Act and gave the relevant government Minister the power (after consulting with the BNSI) to make regulations for the purpose of protecting Barbadian consumers from such defective and health-destroying products.
Thus, we Barbadian people are entitled to ask why we have not heard from our BNSI on this matter up to now.
Surely, the Court case in Missouri must have been based on credible scientific evidence and must have been going on for some considerable time before last Thursday’s verdict. In this age of Information Technology, does the BNSI or any other local regulatory agency monitor these types of developments internationally? And if so, why have they not alerted the Barbadian people to the cancer causing danger associated with this very popular product ?
And — most importantly — when is this product going to be banned from Barbados?