Chairman Krishnamoorthi of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Launches Investigation Into Public Health Risks of Carcinogens in Consumer Products
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Krishnamoorthi of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy yesterday launched a comprehensive investigation into the recent revelations that talc used in some consumer products has been contaminated with asbestos and poses a threat to public health. Yesterday’s inquiry aims to unearth important information regarding corporate practices to manufacture, market, and sell consumer products with potential talc contamination, and to better understand how the federal government can protect consumers from exposure to asbestos.
Yesterday’s letter to Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest maker of products containing the talc in question, comes on the heels of last week’s hearing on this topic which examined the scientific evidence of health risks from long-term use of consumer products containing talc and the federal regulatory framework on consumer product safety. The full text of yesterday’s letter can be found below:
March 20, 2019
Mr. Alex Gorsky
Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Johnson & Johnson
One Johnson & Johnson Plaza
New Brunswick, NJ 08933
Dear Mr. Gorsky:
The Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy is examining the potential risks to consumers, including ovarian cancer, posed by talc-containing personal care products. As part of this examination, the Subcommittee held a hearing on March 12, 2019, entitled, “Examining the Public Health Risks of Carcinogens in Consumer Products.” To assist the Subcommittee in its review, I request that you produce the following documents and information by April 5, 2019:
- Information regarding suppliers of talc-containing products to Johnson & Johnson since 1957, including:
- the names of all suppliers of each product;
- the owners and location of mines and manufacturing facilities that currently do or previously have supplied Johnson & Johnson talc-containing products; and
- methods and protocols used by those suppliers and/or Johnson & Johnson to monitor and detect potential asbestos contamination;
- the name, length, and nature of any business relationship for all external companies involved with manufacturing Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talc-based products; and
- Information regarding Johnson & Johnson’s quantifiable level of detection threshold of five or more asbestiform minerals, including:
- how long the threshold has been used internally to determine asbestos contamination;
- the rationale behind incorporating the threshold into the company’s testing methods; and
- All documents related to the development of the asbestos testing method J4-1, and all documents regarding the development of J4-1 that were provided to FDA;
- All documents related to the development of the quantifiable level of detection threshold of five or more asbestiform minerals, and all documents regarding the threshold that have been provided to FDA;
- All documents relating or referring to positive asbestos testing of historical Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products;
- Annual and quarterly sales figures for Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talc-based products since 1982;
- All communications and marketing documents relating or referring to Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower sales strategies targeted to specific age, weight, and race demographics, including promotional materials used for the public since 1992;
- Annual revenue figures or estimates for sales of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower products to African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Caucasian-Americans since 1982;
- All documents and communications involving Imerys Talc America referring or relating to risk warning labels or material safety data sheets since 2004.
The Committee on Oversight and Reform is the principal oversight committee of the House of Representatives and has broad authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time” under House Rule X.
An attachment to this letter provides additional instructions for responding to the Committee’s request. If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Subcommittee staff at (202) 225-5051.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
cc: The Honorable Michael Cloud, Ranking Member