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Tylenol recall: J&J issues sixth recall for odor

Tylenol recall involves one lot number for troubled Johnson & Johnson unit. In announcing the latest Tylenol recall, the company also expanded a Jan. 14 recall of Tylenol and other medicines.

By Associated Press / March 30, 2011

In this Sept. 30, 2010 file photo, Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO William Weldon testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to examine the circumstances surrounding the recall of medicines produced by Johnson & Johnson/ McNeil Consumer Healthcare. On March 29, 2011, the company issued a sixth Tylenol recall for a musty odor.

Kevin Wolf/AP/File

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WASHINGTON

Health care products maker Johnson & Johnson recalled another lot of Tylenol on Tuesday due to a musty odor which has already triggered five other recalls of the company's over-the-counter medicines.

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The latest recall involves more than 34,000 bottles of Tylenol 8 Hour Extended Release, which were distributed throughout the U.S. All of the products come from lot number ADM074, which appears on the bottom of the bottles.

It's the sixth time that the New Brunswick, N.J.-based company has recalled nonprescription medicines because of complaints about an unpleasant odor.

The odor is thought to be caused by trace amounts of a chemical used to treat wooden pallets on which bottles are stored and shipped. The company previously said it has stopped using wooden pallets.

J&J's reputation has been battered in the past year by a string of recalls ranging from over-the-counter medicines like Children's Tylenol and Benadryl to contact lenses and hip replacements.

The Tylenol 8 Hour Extended Release tablets were manufactured at the company's Fort Washington, Pa. plant, which has been at the center of its recall woes.

Earlier this month the federal government took legal control of the plant after the company failed to sufficiently improve operations. The plant will remain closed until it has been inspected and certified by outside inspectors and federal health regulators.

In a related announcement, J&J expanded a Jan. 14 recall of various Tylenol, Benadryl, Sudafed and Rolaids packages distributed to wholesalers. The latest action adds an additional 717,000 packets to the roughly 47 million recalled in January.

That recall was related to inadequate cleaning procedures at the Fort Washington plant, though the company does not believe that quality of the products was impacted. Consumers do not have to take any action because the products did not make it to retailers, according to the company.

In its last quarter, J&J reported a 12 percent drop in profit, as sales were squeezed by a weak economy and recalls that have kept many popular nonprescription medicines off of store shelves. Sales of the company's over-the-counter medicines fell more than 19 percent last year.