After lawsuits over Johnson & Johnson baby powder, company to discontinue talc-based product worldwide

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The Johnson's talc-based baby powder. [Photo: The Hans India]

More than two years after it stopped selling talc-based baby powder in the United States and Canada, healthcare products giant Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will discontinue the product worldwide.

The company will stop selling the product in the global market from 2023.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said that it would launch an all-cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio.

“As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio. As a result of this transition, talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder will be discontinued globally in 2023,” read the statement.

Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of lawsuits across countries as many women alleged that the talcum-based baby powder contained asbestos and many of them developed several health issues including ovarian cancer. However, Johnson & Johnson has always claimed that its product is safe to use.

“Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged. We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer,” the statement added.

According to Johson & Johnson, cornstarch-based baby powder is already sold in many countries around the world, and soon the product will be available globally.

“We continuously evaluate and optimize our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth. This transition will help simplify our product offerings, deliver sustainable innovation, and meet the needs of our consumers, customers and evolving global trends,” said the statement.

In 2020, J&J stopped selling talc-based baby powder in the US and Canada amid the rising lawsuits over the product’s safety standards, while the same was available in other global markets.

Johson & Johnson faces about 38,000 lawsuits that claim its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, Reuters reported.

Talc-based baby powder was launched in 1894 by J&J and it has become synonymous with the company’s family-friendly image.


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