talc powder lawsuit

Bausch quietly replaced talc in body powder ahead of J&J recall

Bloomberg has reported that earlier this year, Bausch Health Cos. Inc., manufacturer of Shower to Shower, quietly reformulated the body powder. Bausch replaced the talcum powder in its product with cornstarch “to keep the product in line with market trends and customer preferences,” company spokeswoman Lainie Keller said in a statement. “This formula change was not made due to any safety concerns,” she continued.

Notable Timing

The change comes after Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of one lot — nearly 33,000 bottles — of Johnson’s Baby Powder. The company issued the recall after testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that asbestos, a known carcinogen, was present in the talc. The announcement prompted several retailers like CVS Health, Walmart, and Rite Aid to pull all 22-ounce bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder – including those not named in the recall – out of concern.

Bausch said it distributed the last talc-containing lot of Shower to Shower in February.

Johnson & Johnson manufactured Shower to Shower body powder until 2012, when Bausch’s predecessor, Valeant Pharmaceuticals Inc., purchased the rights to the product for $150 million.

Since then, both Johnson & Johnson and Bausch have faced lawsuits alleging they knew–but failed to warn–that their talcum powder products contained asbestos, and that the products have contributed to mesothelioma and ovarian cancer diagnoses. Johnson & Johnson also faces claims that its talcum powder, even without the presence of asbestos, causes ovarian cancer when applied to the genitals for feminine hygiene.

In a statement emailed to BloombergBeasley Allen lawyer Ted Meadows writes:

“While choosing to not inform consumers of the reformulation of a former J&J product, at least the new seller of Shower to Shower has made a responsible decision to remove talc from the product. Thus far, J&J has refused to take a similar step to protect the public and stop the production of talc-based Baby Powder.”

According to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Johnson & Johnson is responsible for Bausch’s liability in any talc lawsuits involving Shower to Shower until March 2020.

Ovarian Cancer Lawyers

Beasley Allen’s Talc Litigation team, led by Ted Meadows and Leigh O’Dell, has been privileged to represent thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder on their genitals for feminine hygiene, and continues to investigate these cases.

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