On February 4, 2020 the
FDA will hold the first public hearing on testing methodology for asbestos
in talc and cosmetics since 1971.
This follows a nationwide recall of Baby Power in October 2019 after federal
regulators detected asbestos contamination in the popular Johnson’s
Baby Powder sold by Johnson & Johnson. The recall was the first time
J&J removed the iconic product from store shelves and the first time
U.S. regulators announced a finding of asbestos in the product. Although
evidence uncovered in reporting and litigation show J&J has been aware
that asbestos was present in their talc for decades, J&J continues
to defend the safety of their products and dispute these findings.
This is a marked departure from the FDA’s decades-old stance of downplaying
concerns about asbestos in talc and deferring to manufacturers to impose
standards and address the matter. According to
Reuters, “The agency has taken a tougher stance amid heightened scrutiny
in Congress, a criminal investigation into J&J’s statements
regarding the safety of its talc powders and jury verdicts against talc
It appears that the discovery of asbestos in current bottles of J&J
Baby Powder was the last push the FDA needed to finally realize that the
cosmetics industry cannot be trusted to impose appropriate testing standards
to protect consumers from asbestos in talc.
Click here to read the
Reuter’s article about the upcoming FDA hearing.