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Subcommittee Chairman Krishnamoorthi Presses FDA to Publish Evidence of Asbestos in Baby Powder

Dec 5, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 5, 2019)—Today, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pressing them to expeditiously release the results of additional tests it conducted after initially finding asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder.

“I am troubled by allegations that Johnson & Johnson has been questioning the integrity of the finding by the Food and Drug Administration that samples of its baby powder contain asbestos,” Chairman Krishnamoorthi said. “Johnson & Johnson’s allegations appear to be without scientific merit.”

On October 18, 2019, FDA announced that a contracted laboratory detected asbestos in one lot of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.  On December 3, 2019, Johnson & Johnson issued a statement which cast doubt on the integrity of the contract laboratory, AMA Analytical Services Inc. Johnson & Johnson claimed that the investigation “revealed that the testing protocol at AMA deviated from standard practice and that AMA did not execute a full asbestos confirmation as required by their lab’s test method.”  Johnson & Johnson also alleged that “the most probable root causes for the FDA’s reported results were either test sample contamination and/or analyst error at the AMA lab.”

During a briefing with Subcommittee staff, FDA disclosed they commissioned a second test, which was performed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  FDA also stated that it is currently in possession of OSHA’s test results. 

“The integrity of FDA’s processes has been publicly challenged in a manner detrimental to the trust Americans have in agencies of government.  When FDA warns consumers about a product’s hazards, it is important that Americans trust that FDA’s findings truly prioritize public health,” Krishnamoorthi wrote.  “It is paramount to your agency’s credibility to release the results of OSHA’s confirmation testing of AMA’s original results.”

Chairman Krishnamoorthi will hold a hearing next week to continue examining consumer concerns regarding the safety of personal care products that contain talc, including Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder. 

Click here to read today’s letter.

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116th Congress