In 2008, two researchers from Penn State University published a paper denying talcum powder’s supposed link to ovarian cancer. Their cancer study refutes any claims that internal talc exposure can cause women to develop ovarian tumors. However, Missouri jurors heard recent evidence showing the study contained inherent bias. In fact, the cancer study was secretly funded by the leading supplier of talc in the United States: Johnson & Johnson.
2008 Cancer Study Contradicts Previous Researchers’ Findings
Michael Huncharek and Joshua Muscat authored the cancer study while at their respective schools of medicine. It was not the first time ovarian cancer and talcum powder were studied under the same lens. Scientists published their first evidence connecting the two back in 1971.
After that, Dr. Daniel Cramer, a Harvard professor at Boston hospital, conducted his popular cancer study. The study assessed 215 white females with epithelial ovarian cancers and 215 control women from the general population. Among the cancer group, 92% reported regular talcum powder use (either as a dusting powder on the perineum or onto sanitary napkins). The cancer study reported that perineal talc dusting significantly increased ovarian cancer risks. In fact, it showed women with regular talcum powder use were nearly 2x more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
But Johnson & Johnson paid the Penn State research paper’s authors to refute these claims. It states, “measures of internal talc exposure such as talc-dusted diaphragms and latex condoms show not relationship with ovarian cancer risk.” The study also states, “Talc is not genotoxic.” The study adamantly discounts any claim that links talcum powder use to ovarian cancer.
Huncharek admits that Johnson & Johnson actually funded the 2008 study. He says, “J&J came to me and said, “What do you think of this,” and I said, “I agree with you, talc is not a carcinogen,” he told Chemistry World. Johnson & Johnson paid $22,000 for the paper.
What Experts Say About Johnson & Johnson Secretly Funding Their Own Cancer Study
Johnson & Johnson did not pay the 2008 study’s researchers directly. Instead, the money allegedly came from a law firm that supports J&J. But experts — including the attorney presenting evidence — say that the source is one and the same.
Professor Marion Nestle, who teaches nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, says she finds this utterly appalling. “This is a flagrant breach of medical and research ethics,” she told Chemistry World. “If the money for the study came from a drug company and was funded by the law firm that represented that company, then it was laundered.”
Stanford University science historian Robert Proctor says Johnson & Johnson took a page from the “tobacco industry’s playbook” here. “Big tobacco pioneered this strategy decades ago, and they were able to pollute the scientific literature and make it seem like there was an honest controversy about whether cigarettes were causing health problems like lung cancer.”
This is not the first time J&J illegally manufactured evidence or hid unfavorable results to protect their profits. As a result, over 10,000 women who unknowingly developed ovarian cancer filed lawsuits nationwide. Despite the company’s efforts to prove their talc-based powders are safe for everyday use, juries don’t necessarily agree. In July 2018, a jury awarded 22 ovarian cancer plaintiffs $2.12 billion in damages.
How Talcum Powder Cancer Victims May Qualify for A Cash Settlement
If you or someone you love developed ovarian cancer after prolonged talcum powder use, you may qualify for compensation. J&J’s efforts to suppress legitimate research through funding their own cancer study doesn’t mean no link exists between the two. To confirm your eligibility before filing your case, complete your free talcum powder claim evaluation online today. You’ll answer just three brief questions before seeing your evaluation results in minutes online. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced lawyer will call to discuss your case. This phone call is your first step towards getting the justice and compensation you deserve for your injuries and holding Big Pharma accountable.
Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.