Published by WallStreetWeather.net
Mercury is the planetary energy of communication, movement, and commerce. The three week period three to four times a year when Mercury appears to move retrograde from Earth’s vantage point tends to bring news of more product recalls as when Mercury slows down, our thought processes pick up on things that have been overlooked in order that past errors can be rectified.
Mercury is a dualistic energy and was particularly potent on January 15, 2010 as it stationed direct. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) announced a second recall affecting about 50 million bottles of Tylenol, Motrin and some other OTC products sold in the Americas, the U.A.E., and Fiji that expanded on its recall of Tylenol arthritis products announced December 29 after Mercury went retrograde.
The two recalls expanded the original recall issued by J&J on November 6, 2009 for Tylenol Arthritis Pain caplets that were recalled after some consumers reported nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea, along with a moldy odor emanating from the product. On September 24, 2009 when Mercury was retrograde in its own sign Virgo which rules health and hygiene, J&J recalled infant and children’s Tylenol liquid products after detecting bacteria in an inactive ingredient.
According to news reports, J&J’s latest voluntary recall was in response to a warning letter from the FDA* criticizing the drug company for its delay in not conducting a full investigation after it knew in 2008 it had an odor contamination problem related to the chemical 2,4,6-tribromoanisole (TBA) in wood pellets that were used to transport and store the product’s packaging material. In its latest recall announcement, J&J said “no serious events have been documented in medical literature” connected with contamination to TBA, but admitted that “the health effects of this chemical have not been well studied.”
The Wall Street Journal points out J&J’s response to its current problems with Tylenol and other OTC products contrasts with the company’s quick and decisive action to recall millions of Tylenol products on October 5, 1982 after seven people in the Chicago area died from taking Tylenol capsules that had been laced with cyanide.
Mercury was retrograde at the time of the original 1982 recall which occurred the last time Saturn was in Libra. Saturn represents economic contraction, and Pluto rules toxic conditions, what is hidden, and events on a massive scale. Saturn was conjoining Pluto in Libra during the 1982 recall. By J&J being accountable and quickly taking responsibility for the problem, the amount of money the company lost on the recall was more than recouped by earning the public’s respect and continued patronage.
Saturn and the sign Capricorn rule the elderly and the body’s bones and joints. At the time of the November 2009 Tylenol arthritis recall, Saturn in Libra was about to square Pluto in Capricorn. Saturn rules government and Pluto exposes what has been manipulated and kept secret. Saturn conjoining Pluto marked the beginning of a new economic cycle. Saturn squaring Pluto represents that this cycle is waning, coinciding with the decline of big pharma’s proprietary pipeline. Unlike the 1982 recall, J&J didn’t begin the November 2009 recall until FDA investigators were inspecting a plant.
Beyond the multiple recalls of the Mercury retrograde cycle in Capricorn, Saturn’s energy was pronounced last week as it stationed retrograde on January 13. Mercury turning direct on January 15 the day of the Solar Eclipse in Capricorn, reflected there was more news related to J&J related to the government and the elderly. The Department of Justice announced a lawsuit against J&J for paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Omnicare, the nation’s largest pharmacy serving nursing homes and long-term care facilities. In what the two companies called the “Risperdal Initiative,” J&J would pay Omnicare to recommend patients be put on Risperdal, an anti-psychotic medication that has not been approved by the FDA for patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia. According to The Wall Street Journal, state and federal Medicaid programs are major Omnicare customers.
J&J will record costs connected to the recalls in its 2009 financial results which it is scheduled to report on January 26. J&J does not expect the loss to be material, but with the January 15 Solar Eclipse squaring J&J’s stock chart Venus in Libra, Saturn square Pluto affecting the stock chart’s Sun and Neptune in Libra and Moon in Capricorn, and Mars in Leo conjoining its Pluto, J&J’s earnings could be disappointing. Revenue or future revenue projections look to be contracting. The Moon represents the public and investor sentiment which unlike 1982 does not appear to be on J&J’s side.
J&J has a lot of work to do if it wants to avoid yet another recall during the next Mercury retrograde cycle April 18 to May 11, 2010.
*At the time of this writing the FDA warning letter to J&J does not appear on the FDA’s website. In related news Friday, the FDA began to reverse its stance that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) that is used to harden plastics and is found in certain types of food containers, might not be safe for young children.
Johnson & Johnson stock chart: September 25, 1944 NYC