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It’s official, the multinational pharmaceutical heavyweight Johnson & Johnson will stop selling their talc-based Johnson’s baby powder in the United States and Canada following years of lawsuits and consumer fears that the product might cause cancer.
Though steadfast in denying the cancer links to its talc products in and out of the courtroom, the company has spent years of litigation and paying billions of dollars in compensation.
According to The Guardian, Johnson & Johnson announced that this move is a part of a broad reassessment of its consumer product portfolio. The company said demand for talc-based baby powder in the US has been declining.
Retailers will continue selling existing inventory, but Johnson & Johnson will focus on cornstarch-based baby powder in the North American market. The company says it will continue selling the talc-based baby powder in countries where there is significantly higher consumer demand.
The talc Johnson’s Baby Powder is currently listed on the company’s Malaysian website. In the product description, it is stated that the talc products are made using U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP) grade talc to meet the highest-quality, purity and compliance standards. It also says that the talc is tested to ensure that it is asbestos free.
Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products have been mired in controversy for years as the company is brought to court over allegations that the products were contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
Last October, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators found trace amounts of asbestos in the product. The company then voluntarily recalled 33,000 bottles of talcum powder “out of an abundance of caution”.
In a statement, the company said it remained steadfastly confident in the safety of their talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder, citing the support of independent scientific studies by medical experts for decades.
Johnson & Johnson also points out that all guilty verdicts passed against the company have been overturned.
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