The Cosmetic Industry in the Talc Trials


The Supreme Court's latest decision to uphold a $2 billion verdict in favor of individuals who claimed that they developed cancer from using Johnson & Johnson talc baby powder sheds light on how industry responds to regulations.

While this news may seem recent to some, controversy over the toxicity of talc started more than 40 years ago. This memorandum from 1975 details the meeting between FDA Representatives and Cosmetic Industry Representatives on regulations regarding asbestos in talc. One representative from Bristol Myers, the multinational pharmaceutical company, spoke on behalf of the industry stating, “that a standard for talc in the form of a regulation was unnecessary because evidence indicates that chrysotile does not occur in talc.” Check out this archived document to learn more about how the cosmetic industry responded to regulating chrysotile, also known as white asbestos, in talc products.