Johnson & Johnson strongly rejected the claim on Friday and insisted the product is entirely safe.
“Plaintiffs’ attorneys out for personal financial gain are distorting historical documents and intentionally creating confusion in the courtroom and in the media,” Ernie Knewitz, J&J’s vice president of global media relations, said in a statement.
“This is all a calculated attempt to distract from the fact that thousands of independent tests prove our talc does not contain asbestos or cause cancer. Any suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the safety of talc is false.”
The investigation published by Reuters, examined company memos, international documents, along with deposition and trial testimony. The news agency said it showed the company, established in 1886, know of the positive tests, and that senior executives, mine managers, scientists, doctors and lawyers worried about how to address the problem, while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public.
In a statement posted on its website, Johnson & Johnson described the Reuters report as “one-sided, false and inflammatory”.
“Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and asbestos-free. Studies of more than 100,000 men and women show that talc does not cause cancer or asbestos-related disease,” it said.