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Tylenol Maker Admits to Selling Liquid Medicine Contaminated with Metal

Recalled over-the-counter medicines distributed by the McNeil Consumer Healthcare division of Johnson & Johnson including St. Joseph's Aspirin tablets, lot AMM365, Motrin Junior Strength tablets, lot APM303, Tylenol Extra Strength caplets, lot AMA008, and Rolaids Freshmint tablets, lot AFA293, are displayed for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010. Johnson & Johnson expanded its recall of products possibly tainted with a wood chemical to include Rolaids, Motrin, Children's Tylenol and St. Joseph's Aspirin along with some lots of Benadryl allergy tablets and Tylenol caplets as a "precautionary action" after consumer reports of moldy, musty and mildew-like odors in some of the pills. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary will pay $25 million after pleading guilty to a federal crime

The maker of Tylenol pleaded guilty in a Federal Court on Tuesday to selling liquid medicine contaminated with metal.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, pleaded guilty in a Federal District Court in Philadelphia to a criminal charge of manufacture and process of adulterated over-the-counter medicines. The company agreed to a $25 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The company launched wide-ranging recalls in 2010 of over-the-counter medicines including Infants’ Tylenol and Children’s Motrin.

Those recalls came on the heels of others from 2008 to 2010 that involved hundreds of millions of bottles of Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl and other consumer products. Metal particles contaminated the liquid medicines, which also suffered from moldy odors and labeling problems.

A spokeswoman for McNeil Consumer Healthcare said the plea agreement “closes a chapter” and that the company has “been implementing enhanced quality and oversight standards across its entire business,” Reuters reports.

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