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Children's Tylenol Maker Pleads Guilty to Making Contaminated Medicine

The Short of It

Remember those massive Infants' and Children's Tylenol recalls in 2010? Well, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary who makes Tylenol products, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Federal Court to the criminal charge of manufacturing and processing adulterated over-the-counter medicines.

The Lowdown

McNeil Consumer Healthcare manufactured the liquid medicines found to contain metal particles and moldy odors five years ago.

The issue with the metal particles came to light when consumers started complaining about dark specks in the bottom of liquid Infants' Tylenol. It was later revealed the specks were actually nickel and chromium particles.

Between 2008 and 2010, many other over-the-counter medicines were recalled, including McNeil's Children's Motrin, Rolaids and Benadryl. Some brands suffered from labeling problems that made instructions for use unclear.

The company has agreed to pay a $25 million settlement in addition to the charges brought against it.

The Upshot

McNeil is promising its safety standards at the plant in Fort Washington, Penn., where the problems occurred, have been greatly improved since the ordeal. Spokesperson Carol Goodrich told Reuters this plea agreement "closes a chapter." She said McNeil has "been implementing enhanced quality and oversight standards across its entire business."

Here's hoping the company is truly committed to producing safe and effective products for our kids from now on.

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