Responsible Investment News

Comment: How investors can avoid a Johnson & Johnson-style schadenfreude

Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of ESG research and ratings to investors, has warned for several years that Johnson & Johnson's governance in connection with a range of products, including its talcum powder, is poor (even if the company rates highly on many other ESG metrics).

The firm said Johnson & Johnson's management of product governance has been below industry standards and it has been repeatedly involved in severe controversies related to at least eight product lines. The company is still facing more than 100,000 legal claims related to alleged side effects on patients of at least eight of its product lines.

In addition to talcum powder, Sustainalytics highlighted issues related to products ranging from vaginal meshes, hip replacement devices, and medications such as the anticoagulant Xarelto and the antipsychotic Risperdal. It further went on to note that the issues over talcum powder warranted its highest "Category 5" controversy rating.

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