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The article “Johnson & Johnson told to pay $72 million in talcum powder cancer case” by Ivana Kottasova, and Dani Stewart focuses on the story of Jackie Fox who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 62. The family of the late, Jackie, argued that the untimely dead was as a result of the prolong use of Talcum powder, a product of the Johnson & Johnson company. The family claimed that the company knew of the dangers and side effects of using the chemical, but it did not indicate it on the labels. However, the scientists were divided over the potentiality of talc powder to cause cancer. The court denied the defendant a judgment and awarded the family, plaintiff, $72 million. The article “FDA changes course on graphic warning labels for cigarettes” by Steve presents a scenario whereby a case brought to federal court by The American Cancer Society together with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids was stricken down. The issue before the federal court was to determine whether Tobacco producers were supposed to adopt new warning labels or retain the old ones and make tobacco advertisements as they wished.
In their article, Ivana and Stewart (2016), focus on the need to have correct warning labels. The issue before the court in the article was decided for the plaintiff. This is to say that, the defendant was considered guilty of the not labeling their product with warning labels. In the presence of such labels, the consumers could have considered using another alternative product or drop the idea of using it. Moreover, the defendant could have had an easy time in court since they could have provided evidence of warning labels thus proving not guilty. In the second article by Steve (2013), the author argues that the Tobacco processors are fighting against the adoption of new warning labels. The new warning labels will give a threat to the tobacco-selling business since it will scare most of the consumers. The American Cancer Society together with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is fighting against the use of old warnings labels and advocating for the adoption of new warning labels.
Freedom of speech is a basic essential right, but there are limitations implied in it. As product processors in the two articles, talc, and tobacco, exercise their freedoms of speech, they have overlooked at the welfare of the consumers by endangering their lives at the expense of their business. This should not be the case. The article by Steve argues that the plaintiffs in the article issue wanted the court to limit the advertisements made on tobacco. This is meant to limit the freedom of speech of tobacco sellers and save the lives of kids and those adults.
The two articles address the ability of the government to control and regulate corporation’s warning labels through the use of courts of law. The articles recognize the courts, government agency, like the one to determine if a warning label is appropriate or not. The court was left to determine if the talc powder producers were guilty of not placing a warning label on their product or not. This shows that through the court of law and other agencies such as FDA, the government can regulate the freedom of speech and placement of warning labels by product producers. Therefore, the government should do all that it take to ensure that consumable products are safe for its citizens.
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