FDA attacked over alleged dangers of talcum powder

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come under fire from the
Cancer Prevention Coalition for failing to react to evidence of the
dangers of talcum powder.

Chicago-based Cancer Prevention Coalition claims that regular use of cosmetic grade talcum powder around the genitals increases the risk of contracting ovarian cancer. Petition to the FDA ​ The campaigning organization called for the introduction of cancer warnings in 1994 when it submitted a citizen petition to the FDA. Noting evidence from 15 papers in scientific journals, the petition concluded that ovarian cancer and talcum powder use were linked and that explicit warnings should be placed on product labels. ​The petition was endorsed by Senator Edward Kennedy and various medical groups such as the Ovarian Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Foundation. Rejection ​ However, the US trade association, the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), rejected the petition. In addition, the Cancer Prevention Coalition said yesterday that over 10 years after the petition was drawn up, the FDA has still not taken any action to warn consumers of the potential dangers of talcum powder, "This is all the more inexcusable since cosmetic grade starch powder is a readily available safe alternative,"​ said the Cancer Prevention Coalistion's chairman Samual S. Epstein. While use of talcum powder is on the decline in mature markets Epstein said Johnson & Johnson continues to manufacture talc and sell it through mass-market retailers.

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