The investigation at the center of the report, published Friday, found that "from at least 1971 to the early 2000s" Johnson & Johnson's raw talc and finished powders "sometimes" came up positive for really bad shit like asbestos. Furthermore, everyone from executives to lawyers are alleged to have kept this from regulators and consumers.
Related documents have garnered new focus in light of claims against more than 11,000 plaintiffs who say Johnson & Johnson talc caused cancer. Asbestos, of course, is a known carcinogen. It was formerly used in insulation, caulk, brake pads, hair dryers, and a now preposterous-sounding assortment of products widely used by millions of people.
In a statement published to its website Friday, Johnson & Johnson—which has since seen stock falloffs as high as 11 percent—denied the Reuters findings. 'The Reuters article is one-sided, false, and inflammatory," the company said, adding in an argument that the report is a "conspiracy theory." For added fun, I like to imagine the company's statement having been written immediately after everyone in the office snorted a big fat line of talc.