McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and maker of medicines including Infants’ Tylenol and Children’s Motrin, was fined $25 million dollars by the U.S. Department of Justice for selling liquid medicine contaminated with metals. Originally alerted by a consumer in 2009 who found “black specks” in the bottom of a bottle of liquid Infants’ Tylenol (which were later revealed to be nickel and chromium particles), McNeil made an extensive recall in 2010 of several over-the-counter products for labeling issues and also for moldy odors. The company pleaded guilty to a federal criminal charge that it sold products containing metals, and the court documents reveal that the company did not take immediate steps to fix the metals problem (and allegedly knew about the issues for a year before taking action), which occurred during the manufacturing process. The manufacturing issues were traced to one plant in Pennsylvania; the facility has been shuttered and rebuilt, but has not reopened.
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