Discovery of cancer-causing chemicals in Zantac, sunscreen and other products highlights FDA failures: Bloomberg

Independent investigations by Valisure have also resulted in the identification of NDMA in a variety of other generic drugs, often involving the creation of the toxic chemical as a byproduct of changes to generic drug manufacturing processes. that the FDA failed to discover.

In May 2021, Valisure issued a press release warning of high levels of benzene in dozens of aerosol sunscreens sold by several different companies, including Neutrogena, Aveeno, Coppertone, Banana Boat, CVS After-Sun and d other sun protection products. The warning warned consumers that exposure to the toxic chemical benzene could increase the risk of several forms of cancer. Following the conclusions of several sunscreen cancer lawsuit have been filed in recent months against Johnson & Johnson, Coppertone and others.

In October 2021, Johnson & Johnson and Costco announced that they had reached a settlement agreement to resolve multiple cases. However, details of the sunscreen settlement agreement have yet to be revealed and the deal has not been finalized.

Another report from Valisure surfaced in November 2021 stating that the pharmacy had identified high levels of benzene in numerous brands and lots of body sprays and deodorant sprays, including Old Spice, Secret, Suave, Tag and others. .

Valisure noted that some inactive ingredients commonly used in body sprays in particular, such as butane, isobutane, propane and alcohol, could be potential sources of benzene contamination. Similar circumstances may have played a role in the level of benzene detected in spray sunscreens.

Following the report, a Recall of Old Spice and Secret deodorants was issued by Proctor & Gamble, withdrawing the products from the market and stating that benzene was not an intended ingredient in deodorant sprays. This has resulted in an increasing number of deodorant recall lawsuit filed against Proctor & Gamble.

FDA Inspection Limits

More recently, the lab released a report revealing high levels of benzene found in dry shampoo products, including Suave and Dove. It was one of the few times the FDA beat the lab to the punches recently, announcing a Unilever recall of certain Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TGI and TRESemmé products that contain high levels of benzene contamination in the propellant used. by the manufacturer just days before the publication of the Valisure report.

The Bloomberg report notes that Valisure’s testing is routine and could be done by any pharmaceutical company. However, according to the report, the FDA does not perform routine testing and only intervenes after a problem is revealed in most cases.

The agency only has a budget to test a few dozen products a year, and it reserves it in case of health concerns. This often leaves the FDA relying on drug companies to do their own testing, which many critics say gives them far too much leeway, and leaves the FDA too beholden to trustworthy companies who have a vested interest in claiming that their products are sure.

Suitcase under fire

Despite the profound impact Valisure has had in raising concerns about widely used drugs and consumer products, the FDA and drugmakers have tried to push the company back. The FDA conducted an inspection of the lab, with inspectors reporting violations that Bloomberg says aren’t things a small lab should comply with if it’s not making drugs, which Valisure doesn’t.

Additionally, manufacturers targeted by Valisure’s testing have floated conspiracy theories, claiming that Valisure is secretly working with plaintiffs’ attorneys to defraud companies using flawed testing methods. However, plaintiffs’ attorneys have said they do not intend to use Valisure’s test results in the trials in many cases.

Freeda S. Scott