On December 14, Johnson & Johnson lost almost $40 billion following a Reuters’ report claiming that the company’s management was aware that J&J baby powder contained asbestos.
The report analyzed company’s documents and revealed that top managers and lawyers of J & J were aware of the content of asbestos in the baby powder since at least 1971 to the early 2000s, but they hid this information from the public. Johnson & Johnson denied the charges, calling the Reuters story ‘an absurd conspiracy theory.’
Attorney Peter Bicks told Reuters in an email that the scientific consensus is that the talc used in talc-based body powders does not cause cancer, regardless of what is in that talc.”This is true even if – and it does not – Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc had ever contained minute, undetectable amounts of asbestos.”
In the wake of the scandal, Johnson & Johnson shares dropped by around 10% of their original value to close to $133 a share.
In July, J & J compensated $ 4.7 billion to 22 women accusing the company of contracting cancer after decades of using talc-based products. Currently, there are no clinical studies confirming the correlation between the amount of asbestos taken into the body and cases of cancer.