Biz Brief: Johnson & Johnson Called Uncooperative by Congressional Panel

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is being accused of stonewalling a congressional investigation into the recent recall of the company's children's medicines, The New York Times reported.

U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said Johnson & Johnson had used delaying tactics in its dealings with the committee and in some instances had provided misinformation, the paper reported. Towns added this conduct may compel the committee to take more aggressive action.

Johnson & Johnson denied the accusations, offering quite a different view of the company's dealings with the committee, according to the Times.

Still, the escalating congressional investigation has the potential to fuel the Food and Drug Administration's own inquiry, which had already referred to its office of criminal investigation, the agency's law enforcement arm, which works with the Justice Department to prosecute companies accused of violating the laws.

Johnson & Johnson shares, however, have yet to be affected by the recall or the ensuing investigation. While J&J's stock price has declined about 10% since the announcement of the recalls on April 30, the S&P 500 is down about 10% as well. And the affected children's medicine make up only a tiny fraction of the pharmaceutical and consumer goods giant's business.

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