(UPDATE) Talcum Lawsuit

An update to our reporting on alleged health risks with talcum in baby powder.

In January, Johnson & Johnson tentatively agreed to pay $700 million to settle claims in 40 states. In 2017, Full Measure investigated claims that talc caused ovarian cancer in some women.

The following is a transcript of a report from “Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson.” Watch the video by clicking the link at the end of the page.

Deane Berg: I was about 16 years old. My mother had recommended it to me because of chafing problems in the heat in the summertime.

Deane Berg was among the millions of women who used talcum powder on their genital area for freshness.

Sharyl: Was it baby powder?

Berg: Sometimes it was baby powder. Other times it was the Shower to Shower, because that came out, and it was specifically for women. “A sprinkle a day keeps the odor away.”

TV Ad: A sprinkle a day keeps the odor away.

Berg: And so I just thought it was perfectly safe to use, and they were marketing it quite a bit.

Sharyl: And how many years did this go on?

Berg: Until I got cancer, when I was 49.

Even though she’s a physician’s assistant, Berg knew nothing about the possible risks of that sprinkle a day.

TV Ad: Have you had your sprinkle today?

When she got cancer, she did her own research and was shocked to find longstanding studies linking talc to ovarian cancer.

Sharyl: Why do you think it is that someone inside the medical industry wasn’t even aware of this?

Berg: There really was nothing in the public at all about this, and even my gynecologist had never heard of that before.

Talc is the world’s softest mineral and a multi-billion-dollar a year industry. It’s used in plastics, antiperspirants, cosmetics, gum, medicine, soap, toothpaste, and baby powder.

TV Ad: Johnson & Johnson. It’s a feeling you never outgrow.

The debate over the safety of talc goes back decades. There’s already a warning that it could cause breathing problems if inhaled. Dr. Daniel Cramer says there are other risks. A professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Harvard Medical School, he was first to find a statistical link between talc and ovarian cancer in a 1982 study.

Dr. Daniel Cramer: It has taken 25 years in additional literature, I believe, to make the case. But I believe we were on target in that study and that the subsequent studies have supported there is an elevated risk. We reported that the risk might be as high as two-fold increase in risk if they had more than, say, 20 years of talc use.

Dr. Cramer testified as a paid expert in the trial of Deane Berg, who became the first ovarian cancer victim to sue America’s number-one baby powder maker: Johnson & Johnson.

Talc can get into women’s reproductive tract, says Dr. Cramer, and trigger the cancer process, especially in long-term users like Berg, who says she sprinkled on powder every day for more than 30 years.

Berg: They took my pathology report and my slides with my tissue and did further research on it, and it came back definitely showing talcum in my ovaries.

Berg says Johnson & Johnson offered her a half million dollars to avoid trial.

Berg: I didn’t like the attitude of the people that were there from Johnson & Johnson. It was almost like a brush-off.

Sharyl (on-camera): Johnson & Johnson’s chief financial officer called the new deal to pay $700 million an important step in putting the controversy behind it.

Watch video here.

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2 thoughts on “(UPDATE) Talcum Lawsuit”

  1. Twenty years ago, the conspiracy-kooks were saying: “They’re trying to kill us!”…and some of us thought this declaration sounded extreme. Today, perhaps the declaration sounds less extreme and might even suggest that some form of Evil exists in our world that is in effect, a Death Cult. While boycotting the mega-conglomerates is a basic action of any aware consumer, it’s not enough. We should not allow the death-dealers the right to poison us with toxic household products and our food sources. The FDA is another culprit in terms of the deceptions, profiteering, and twisted machinations of the Pharma-Food-Conglomerate-Juggernaut.

  2. Charles Stopczynski

    My wife contracted Ovarian Cancer after using Shower to Shower product, mid 19900’s. Two surgeries, chemo. Unpleasant lingering effects.
    Contacted a law firm in response to a TV ad. Told you do not qualify.

    Not right!

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