Johnson & Johnson loses another talcum powder lawsuit

  • 07/05/2017
There is mixed evidence linking talcum powder to cancer (Getty)
There is mixed evidence linking talcum powder to cancer (Getty)

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay a Virginia woman nearly NZ$160 million over claims that baby powder gave her cancer.

Louis Slemp, 62, claimed that using talcum products for more than 40 years resulted in her being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

The company argued there is little or no evidence linking cancer with talcum powder, and will appeal the decision.

A study published in 2008 warned women against using talcum powder on their genitals as it may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

But University of Auckland Professor Andrew Shelling, who has been following the studies for 25 years, told Newshub last year he didn't believe there was a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

"The evidence to date suggests that there is a slight association between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer, however that association is very weak and is really variable between different studies."

His comments came after another 62-year-old woman, Jacqueline Fox of Missouri, died of ovarian cancer. Her family won US$108 million settlement.