Ovarian Cancer Warning

The Ovarian Cancer Warning

Even though many organizations have warned the public about the risks of ovarian cancer diagnosis and its connection to talcum powder use, the FDA still has not issued a warning to the American people. In 2013, a victim of ovarian cancer sued Johnson & Johnson, claiming that the company’s talc-based product Shower-to-Shower caused her ovarian cancer. Multiple doctors provided evidence that the product caused the woman’s ovarian cancer. Even though this federal case was won by the plantiff, the FDA still has not issued a warning to the public.

Response from Big Business

For decades, the cosmetic industry has denied any link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. When the a 1971 report linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson's medical director, Dr. G.Y. Hildick-Smith, argued that there was no link between talc and the possibility of it causing cancer. Even though the company lost the 2013 court case, Johnson & Johnson still insisted that the risk was insignificant. During the federal trial, Johnson & Johnson's defense attorney stated that company executives knew about the cancer research, but determined that the risk was too small to warn consumers. Even though the executives at Johnson & Johnson deny the cancer connection, the president of the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, Edward Kavanaugh, admitted that talc can cause cancer in humans and that it can cause ovarian cancer when applied to the perineal region.

The FDA and U.S. regulators have not told Johnson & Johnson to issue a warnings on their packaging or advertising of their talcum powder products. There have been many medical experts and advocacy groups calling for warnings issued, but none have been issued. In fact, the FDA has stated that there are no plans for a ban or warning statement on products containing talc.

The Citizen Petitions Are Ignored

There have been many petitions made to the FDA in order to regulate talc, but the FDA has decided to not issue any regulation or warnings. The Cancer Prevention Coalition requested that the FDA issue a warning on the perineal use of talcum powder due to the risk of ovarian cancer, but the FDA refused.

An expert in ovarian cancer research, Dr. Daniel Cramer, estimates that over 10,000 ovarian cancer cases are a result of perineal talcum powder exposure. Many state agencies and cancer research centers are now stating that individuals should use corn starch-based powders instead of talcum-based powders because of the cancer risks.

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