SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 10, 2017

TALC use, cancer, dispute – ‘Payouts’

BABY POWDER,  really?

Who of us isn’t wondering. . . my Gawd,  how have we dodged this bullet?  Apparently, there IS science behind this or there simply couldn’t have been so many court payouts.  Now I’m wondering about all those magnificent smelling (High-end-label) bath powders I used to buy, too.  What was the base of it?   Still have a particularly lovely container which I have been filling with plain ole talc as Social Security doesn’t cover what personal earnings used to allow. Its pretty sitting there –  – but don’t use it much at all.   When I was caring  for my own baby, quite sure I trusted Johnson and Johnson.

So often, we’re forced to deal with evidence of the toxic world we dwell in;   and like it or not. . .make adjustments.  We can’t reduce this tragic mess with a few swift calculations or assertions about how corrupt everything has turned out.  Most assuredly we all had a part in it by accepting the  judgements of others to make all the rules.  In a Democracy, we are all meant to be responsible thru careful choices and participation in how everything is run and/or regulated – – for the protection of us all.  Still,. . we must try harder.  

Now,  I don’t want to put this up just to worry everybody,.  .  add to your burden.  So I’m going to tell you about  a plant called Arrowroot. I never heard of it either, but Dr Berg and his wife (online) made this bread together (while laughing up a storm and having a great old time);  it was dubbed by him as “THE GREATEST BREAD IN THE WORLD”.  Think I recently shared it with everyone. No wheat, gluten- free.. . I’ve made it three or four times. . .kinda like it.  Uses Coconut flour,  Arrowroot and Almond,  plus some other stuff (try it).

I read up on Arrowroot before I bought it and was really impressed. . .downloaded the info, but alas, I can’t find it.  My filing system may literally force me to quit trying to blog.  Nor could I find any reference to that which so intrigued me.  There were references to all kinds of personal usage ideas,   and one I remember was using it in the diaper to prevent problems.  Very gentle and worked.  The Paleo people are using it to thicken for soups and sauces; is smooth, easy and fairly cheap.  I think I bought Bob’s Red Mill, a # – under $10.  So, if its for babies or yourself. . .give it a go – learn and do something new and different (which isn’t toxic)       Found a small blurb online below:



Health benefits of arrowroot

  • Arrowroot is very low in calories; 100 fresh roots carry just 65 calories; less than that of potato, yam, cassava, etc. Its chief polymeric carbohydrates are amylopectin (80%) and amylose (20%). Its powder is fine, odorless, granular starch that is found utility in the food industry as thickener and stabilizing agent.
  • It has relatively more protein than that of other tropical food sources like yam, potato, cassava, plantains, etc.
  • As in other roots and tubers, arrowroot too is free from gluten. Gluten-free starch is used in special food preparations for celiac disease patients.
  • Fresh roots indeed are a good source of folates. 100 g arrowroot provides 338 µg or 84% of daily required levels of folates. Folate, along with vitamin B-12, is one of the essential components that take part in the DNA synthesis and cell division. Diet rich in folate when given during preconception periods and pregnancy may help prevent neural-tube defects and other congenital malformations in the offspring.
  • Arrowroot contains helthy levels of the B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. Many of these vitamins take part as substrates for enzymes in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism in the body.
  • Further, it contains moderate levels of some essential minerals like copper, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, and zinc. Besides, it is an excellent source of potassium (454 mg per 100g or 10% of RDA). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

J&J loses $110M verdict over talc cancer-link claim

 Bloomberg News

May 5, 2017

Imerys Talc America, which provided the talc to J&J, was ordered by the jury to pay about $100,000. Imerys Talc is a unit of Paris-based Imerys SA.

There are more than 3,000 lawsuits accusing the world’s largest health-care company of ignoring studies linking its baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and failing to warn customers about the risk.

J&J lost jury verdicts of $72 million, $55 million and $70 million last year, while winning the first trial in 2017. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is appealing the trial losses. A New Jersey state court judge last year threw out two talc cases set for trial, finding inadequate scientific support for the claims. That decision is also on appeal.

J&J will appeal Thursday’s verdict, said Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman.  “We are preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,’’ she said.    J&J’s trial win in March and the New Jersey dismissal last year “highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs’ allegations,” Goodrich said.

Baby powder

The jury’s verdict is contrary to the consensus of government and professional scientific organizations that have determined talc is safe, Gwen Myers, a spokeswoman for Imerys, said in an emailed statement.  “This verdict serves to undermine efforts by the scientific community to determine the true causes of ovarian cancer,’’ she wrote in the statement.

St. Louis plaintiff Lois Slemp, 62, said she used J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products for more than 40 years before her diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2012.   J&J sold its Shower to Shower brand in 2012.

“Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” said Ted Meadows, one of Slemp’s attorneys. “They chose to put profits over people, spending millions in efforts to manipulate scientific and regulatory scrutiny.”

Asbestos claim

Slemp, whose cancer has since spread to her liver, also claims J&J talc was contaminated with asbestos, a rare allegation in these cases. A company lawyer told jurors that J&J’s products didn’t cause Slemp’s cancer and don’t contain asbestos.

The lawsuit is among more than 1,000 filed in St. Louis by women across the U.S., taking advantage of a Missouri law that allows suits to be brought there by people with no connection to the state.

The company faces trial in another talc claim in St. Louis city court next month, brought by the family of a former competitive figure skater who died of ovarian cancer. The trial after that is set for July in Los Angeles.

J&J didn’t warn women of studies linking talc to ovarian cancer to protect the company’s image, Allen Smith, Slemp’s attorney, told jurors.  “What is the corporate image of Johnson & Johnson?’’ Smith asked. “It’s a mother and baby.’’   Slemp, a retired nurse’s assistant, is undergoing chemotherapy and was too ill to attend the trial.

J&J doesn’t need to warn women about talc because there is no link, company lawyer Orlando Richmond argued at trial. The Food and Drug Administration was asked in 2014 whether a warning label should be put on baby powder, he said.    “They said ‘No.’ The science doesn’t warrant it,’’ Richmond said.

The jury didn’t agree.

Punitive damages

“I felt that J&J was withholding information about its products that was vital to women –vital to women like me,” said juror Nancy Kinney, who described herself as over 50 years old.

The jury’s verdict included $105 million in punitive damages against J&J, a figure Kinney said was derived from a formula starting with the number of years since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc as a possible carcinogen. That was in 2006. Juror Lindsay Polley said that science was increasingly pointing toward talc being a cancer risk factor.

“The J&J documents acknowledge that,” she said. “If we could, we would make them put on a warning label.”

Juror Jeremy King, 32, called the J&J documents “mindblowing.”

The $110 million verdict is the eighth-largest jury award in the U.S. so far in 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The largest, for $500 million, was awarded to ZeniMax Media Inc. over its claim that the virtual reality headset maker acquired by Facebook Inc. used stolen code.

The case is Slemp v. Johnson & Johnson, 1422-CC09326, Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, Missouri.

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