Protestor brings 800 lb. spoon to Johnson & Johnson HQ
An 800-pound spoon was placed in front of Johnson & Johnson’s headquarters in New Brunswick on Wednesday during a protest of the company’s role as a prescription drug distributor during the opioid epidemic, according to NJ Advance Media.
Dominic Esposito, an activist and artist, brought the 10-foot-long, 4-foot-tall spoon from his truck to the front of the pharmaceutical giant’s headquarters, according to the article. The aluminum eating utensil was clearly viewable for workers and commuters on the street.
The company’s logo was also etched into the spoon, according to the article.
“My mom would call me in this panicked voice that she found a spoon in the house. It was the peak of my brother’s 12-year battle with addiction," Esposito said, according to the article.
Shortly after Esposito arrived, the company’s security showed up and told him he was on private property and had to leave, according to the article. They called the police, who asked Esposito to move his protest to the public sidewalk.
Johnson & Johnson has come under fire for its role in the opioid epidemic recently. Last month, an Oklahoma judge ruled against the company, stating the company had to pay $572 million to the state. They are appealing the decision, according to the article.
"Johnson & Johnson did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma or elsewhere," said Ernie Knewitz, the company's vice president, in a statement about the protest.
He noted that drug production is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, according to the article.
"At the same time, we recognize that the opioid crisis is a tremendously complex public health issue and have deep sympathy for everyone affected," Knewitz said.
Esposito also brought three other spoons to other pharmaceutical companies and government offices, according to the article. His brother is still struggling with addiction, but Esposito is hopeful of his chances to beat the condition.
Another pharmaceutical company caught up in the opioid epidemic, Purdue Pharma, filed for bankruptcy after reaching a national settlement worth more than $12 billion, which will be paid over 10 years, according to an article on USA Today.
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