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Com It's great to have back on the program, attorney,Mike Papantonio, co-host of Ring of Fire.
Pap, when you think of baby powder, you thinkof one of the least offensive, least dangerous, most innocuous substance, right? Talc.
Aswe've learned over the last 12 hours a number of reports about the $72,000,000 order forJohnson & Johnson to pay out.
You would be very wrong if you think there's nothing toworry about with baby powder.
This is a case really of great lawyering,David.
The lawyer who handled this case, Jere Beasley, he's been a trial lawyer 50 years.
It's the kind of case that he typically does handle where everybody else looks at it andsays I can't imagine that baby powder has the ability to kill people.
Jerry Beasleyjumped in and he tried this case in St.
What he knew was that the International Journalof Gynecological Cancer had reported, 2015 they start reporting the fact that there seemsto be a 30-60% increase in ovarian cancer for women who use this either Shower to Showeror Johnson & Johnson baby powder on a regular basis.
What he started doing was putting theconnections together.
What they were finding, they were actually finding fibrous mineralsin the tumors that were being removed form women's ovaries.
The questions then were whatkind of powder do you use? It came up it was Johnson & Johnson, it was shower to shower.
It's a silica powder.
We learned an awful lot about silica powder during the asbestoscases.
The reason we're handling these cases is we want women to understand stop usingthe stuff.
Put it away.
There's no reason to even take a chance on something like this,because right now the information to me is becoming overwhelming.
It started as earlyas the 1980's with Johnson & Johnson understanding that there was a potential risk here.
This is one particular case, right? $72 millionto the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was specifically linked toher use of Johnson & Johnson talc based baby powder, but now as we're getting more andmore reports, it seems like there may be, may be up to 1,000 other cases linking talcumpowder to cancer, which have been filed in Missouri state court.
What do you know aboutthose 1,000 roughly other cases? Those cases, a lawyer is not going to filean ovarian cancer case that they don't have some causal relationship between Johnson & Johnsonor Shower to Shower.
There's no benefit in that lawyer filing a case unless they've donetheir due diligence, unless they've seen a relationship between, at least from a temporalrelationship between the women using this powder and then the onset of the ovarian cancer.
Obviously the thing that you're able to dowith the pathology in these cases is actually find remnants of the mineral.
We look at theasbestos cases we can actually find the actual asbestos mineral inside the human body.
Hereyou're able to find with good pathology that's successful, you're able to find the actualmineral inside the tumor that are growing in these women's body.
Just the notion thatgee whiz, there's 1,000 cases filed, you can bet that most of those cases, there has beendue diligence done, there has been a finding of some relationship between the talcum powderand the ovarian cancer.
Of course, Johnson & Johnson will play thisout as if gee, this is just a fishing expedition.
Well, it's not.
Johnson & Johnson understoodas early, as I say, the 1980's that there was a direct relationship here that they wereconcerned about.
They didn't tell the FDA because they're not regulated by the FDA,which is amazing.
It's a self regulating decision which Johnson & Johnson had to make.
Theydidn't share it with the FDA because they say they had no responsibility to do that,which is technically correct.
They didn't even share it with customers, without puttingany kind of warning on the product at all that there may be a relationship between ovariancancer and the use of this product.
Correct me if I'm wrong.
There has been achange in what goes into talcum powder.
Before the 1970's, you often had these asbestos fiberswhich are obviously widely known to cause cancer, that would be in talcum powder.
UnderEU law, anyway, any home product that contains talcum powder is now legally obliged to beasbestos free.
Now the question seems to be about the talcum powder itself, and that thetalcum could irritate ovaries in a way that could eventually cause inflammation, and aswe know inflammation is what leads to cancer.
Even thought many were under the impressionthis was solved in the 1970's, now it appears that may not be the case.
If you take a look at.
Firstof all you have to understand there's potential defendants in this case that are mining thisstuff.
They are mining it jut as they would mine asbestos.
When you dig into the groundand you get a mineral and this mineral has the ability to cause irritation, you can developsomething called a scar based cancer.
It's as you pointed out, it's typically relatedto the inflammation that comes form a foreign body being in human tissue.
When you're able to say look, we saw the tumorand inside the tumor was this material, it's a pretty good relationship.
It's a prettygood causal relationship that you're able to draw, and that's what Jerry Beasley didin this case.
David, there's another story here.
The otherstory is this is another case where the company failed to police themselves, the regulatorswere completely asleep at the wheel.
The media never bought into this story because it'sJohnson & Johnson baby powder and they're advertising for Johnson & Johnson every day.
They certainly don't want to go whip forward with a story like this.
This story has beenkicking around for some time but it was one of those stories that the media refused totalk about.
It's like the story that we have up in Ohio with C8.
C8's causing cancer tothousands and thousands of people but the media wouldn't talk about it, because DuPontwas such a big advertiser.
This is exactly that situation.
Johnson & Johnsonis a massive advertiser, the story's been kicking around a long time.
Jerry had theguts to go forward with it and do what the media wouldn't do, what the regulators wouldn'tdo, what the industry wouldn't do, and that is to say look, women, don't take any risks.
Stop using it.
I think that's why we're convinced to go forward with these cases.
We're goingto be handling these cases in a big kind of way because we feel like the more you're ableto tell people stop using this stuff, the more often you can do that, the better resultsyou're going to get.
There's no reason to use Johnson & Johnson or Shower to Showerbaby powder.
There simply is no reason.
Isn't the broader story here, and you're alludingto it, the idea that a company or organization knows about a risk and they do nothing aboutit.
We have now, we're talking about Johnson & Johnson and baby powder.
Of course you'vebeen working the Teflon case involving DuPont.
We know now at a broader scale on climatechange, Exxon Mobil, dating back 4-5 decades knew about the impact of fossil fuel miningand transportation and usage about the impact on the environment.
They did nothing to curbthat.
This is the broader story you're alluding to, isn't it? It is.
At some point, David, what has to happenis it has to be more than social media reporters like me and like you talking about these stories.
Corporate media has to do their job.
They have to say there's a Chinese all betweenthe advertising end of what we do and the news end of what we do.
That has to happen.
For example, the story that you're talkingabout here, if I'm in the Department of Justice and I'm looking at the documents that showof what these oil companies did that they actually undertook a strategy to lie to regulators,to lie to the American public and they understood that while they were lying that they werekilling our planet.
What they were doing, in a sense, it's nothing less than manslaughter,David.
It's not them, they're not going to suffer.
It's your grandchildren, it's yourchildren who are going to have to face the catastrophic events that are going to unfoldin the next decades because of their criminal conduct.
Nevertheless, the only group that is seriouslylooked at this has been the New York attorney general because the Department of Justiceis so freaking second class.
There are white collar criminals that should be going to jailfor some of these decisions.
We see it every day.
I see it with pharmaceutical cases.
Thecase that we're going to be handling here with the talcum powder, when we start lookingat it, I'd like to know who knew what when.
These are big questions that have to be answered.
Jerry has already shown that there's a verygood connection already about what Johnson & Johnson knew when they should have donesomething and their failure to do it because they wanted to make a profit.
That is thescenario that plays out day after day in our business.
David, thank you for reporting it,because if it weren't for social media reporters like you, these stories would never, neverget legs.
The DuPont story's a great example.
You started reporting on it, somebody elsepicked it up.
The Intercept picks it up, Huffington Post picks it up, magazine after magazine,environmental magazine picks it up.
It has to begin with what people like you are doingat the very basic level of social media.
We'll be doing it, you'll be working the caseand we'll certainly be covering it.
We've been speaking with attorney Mike Papantonio.
Co-host of Ring of Fire.
Thanks as always for being on.
Thank you, David.