Household brand Johnson & Johnson is back in the news as a grand jury in Washington is investigating whether or not the company knew that its talcum powder products contained any harmful carcinogens. According to a report in Bloomberg, the US Justice Department is pursuing a criminal investigation into whether the brand was dishonest with the public about possible cancer risks associated with its baby powder. A subsequent Forbes article added that Johnson & Johnson has been sued more than 13,000 times for "failing to inform customers that its talcum powder contained asbestos, which causes a form of ovarian cancer called mesothelioma."
So what exactly does all of this mean? Firstly, Johnson & Johnson is in full cooperation with all parties involved. "We have been fully cooperating with the previously disclosed DOJ investigation and will continue to do so," said J&J spokeswoman Kim Montagnino, in a report by Bloomberg. The brand also claims that it's all untrue. "Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer, as supported by decades of independent clinical evidence."
There's not a whole lot we can take away from this. While families and consumers will have to wait and see what comes of this criminal investigation, it's just another reminder that we need to make well-informed decisions about the types of products that make sense for our homes and babies.