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Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Pushed Talcum Powder on Black Women After White Women Cease Use Due to Cancer RiskBy Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
For most women, it’s a normal part of their hygienic routine to sprinkle a little baby powder on themselves or in their underwear. The self-care practice is a normal one, specifically for women in the African-American community.
A St. Louis woman named Jacqueline Fox did so for over 40 years, dusting the lining of her panties with talcum powder each morning. It wasn’t until 2013 that she was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer and learned that the baby powder she had been using for so long might be to blame, CNN.com reports. Fox lost her battle with the disease in October 2015.
Now, the New Jersey-based company Johnson & Johnson is embroiled in a number of lawsuits claiming their baby powder products, made with talcum powder, cause cancer. According to Rolling Out, about 20 recent medical studies have found a connection between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
The company lost its second lawsuit on May 2, 2016 for the death of another Black woman named Gloria Ristesund. In that case, the jury awarded $5 million in damages and $50 million in punitive damages, Rolling Out reports. Fox was the first plaintiff to be compensated for damages however, according to CNN.com. Following her death, a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to award her family $72 million.
The company plans to appeal the latest ruling.
“Unfortunately, the jury’s decision goes against 30 years of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc,” Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement.
Thousands of other women have followed suit, suing the company for selling a product that would ultimately cause them to develop cancer. The Washington Post reports that Johnson & Johnson currently faces at least 1,200 pending talcum powder lawsuits, which includes around 1,000 in St. Louis and another 200 in New Jersey.
Goodrich disputes the claims and says that Johnson & Johnson has provided consumers with “a safe choice for cosmetic powder products” for the last 100 years.
Jim Onder, the attorney who represented Ristesund in her lawsuit, disagrees, however. Onder says that researchers first linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer in the 1970s and cites internal documents from Johnson & Johnson that show the company was familiar with those studies.
“The evidence is real clear that Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers associated with talcum powder for over 30 years,” Onder said. “Instead of giving a warning, what they did was target the groups most at risk for developing ovarian cancer.”
On top of knowingly selling a carcinogenic product, the company is accused of marketing the powder to African-American women, encouraging them to purchase the product after use by their white counterparts dropped due to the risk of developing cancer.
In her article written for Time, Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley suggests that Johnson & Johnson, along with other cosmetic companies, are guilty of profiting from the “myths of the excessive black vagina.”
“They’re willing to capitalize on our internalized misogynoir even if we die in the process,” Tinsley wrote.
Her article also states that African-American women douche and deodorize their genitals twice as much as white women, according to research conducted by Francesca Branch, Tracey J. Woodruff, Susanna D. Mitro and Ami R. Zota. Many of those products also contain human carcinogen and are linked to other health risks not visibly listed on labels.
An Atlanta lawyer is now making efforts to stop the unfortunate trend of Black women dying from cancer caused by the use of baby powder. Mawuli Mel Davis and his firm, Davis-Bozeman, are spearheading the initiative to inform African-American women in Georgia about the risks of using talcum powder and the possible legal action they could take against companies like Johnson & Johnson, Rolling Out reports. Davis calls the company’s plan to target Black women a “Corporate Tuskegee Experiment.”
Davis also revealed that his firm has recently taken up the case of a 34-year-old Georgia woman who died from ovarian cancer in 2015. While his team investigates the case, Davis says he wants to continue making women aware of the dangers of talcum powder.
“We say, ‘Don’t Wait! Stop Now!,’ ” he said. “We are calling on sororities, women’s health organizations and all activists to take part in this health movement. We must get the word out: remove this product from your home!”Post Views: 668
By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
Groups affiliated with Black Lives Matter release agenda
By ERRIN HAINES WHACK
Ahead of the second anniversary of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, that touched off a wave of protests nationwide, a coalition of more than 60 organizations affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement has issued a list of demands calling policing and criminal justice reforms.
The agenda, titled “A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice” was released Monday by the Movement for Black Lives. The platform also comes after both the Republican and Democratic conventions, during which Black Lives Matter activists were noticeably absent from protest lines.
“We seek radical transformation, not reactionary reform,” Michaela Brown, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Bloc, one of the group’s partner organizations, said in a statement. “As the 2016 election continues, this platform provides us with a way to intervene with an agenda that resists state and corporate power, an opportunity to implement policies that truly value the safety and humanity of Black lives, and an overall means to hold elected leaders accountable.”
The agenda outlines six demands and offers 40 recommendations on how to address them. To address criminal justice reform, for example, movement organizers are calling for an end to the type of militarized police presence seen at protests in cities like Ferguson, and the retroactive decriminalization and immediate release of all people convicted of drug offenses, sex work related offense and youth offenses.
The group also is calling for the passage of a bill that would create a commission to study reparations for descendants of slaves.
This is the first time Black Lives Matter has articulated its demands and has faced pressure to do so.
The Black Lives Matter movement dates to 2012, but ignited two years later when 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, on August 9, 2014. The incident — followed by other killings of black men and boys by police in cities including Baltimore and Cleveland, and — sparked racial tensions and weeks of protests that evolved into a national conversation about disparities in policing.
Fueled largely by social media, the movement has grabbed the attention of elected officials, including President Barack Obama — who has invited activists to the White House to discuss their grievances and possible solutions. Their efforts also have forced the issues of criminal justice reform and policing disparities into the 2016 election cycle, and were credited, in part, with the ouster of district attorneys in Illinois and Ohio earlier this year.Post Views: 627
By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
“Time for an Awakening” for Sunday 10/15/2017 at 7:00 PM guest was Attorney, Organizer, Founder of Black Lawyers for Justice, Malik Zulu Shabazz. In this time of mass gentrification, police terror, and racist onslaughts by white terror organizations against the Black community and individuals, we are in a “State of Black Emergency”. It’s time for effective operational unity among Black Organizations for the welfare of our community, we talked about this and other topics with our guest, Attorney Shabazz.Post Views: 646