Johnson & Johnson has confirmed that it will no longer sell its talc baby powder products across North America and Canada.
The company says it was part of an ongoing assessment of key products brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the company is also facing numerous lawsuits relating to the same products.
There are currently in excess of 16,000 lawsuits relating to the talc products, with consumers claiming the products caused their cancer. The lawsuits allege that the products have been contaminated by asbestos, which can be found in talc mining operations.
Last month, one New Jersey judge ruled that thousands of plaintiffs can proceed with their claims over the allegations of carcinogens in the product, but will face some limits over expert testimony.
Johnson & Johnson has vehemently denied that any of its products contain asbestos and has conducted independent testing which showed that there was no asbestos present. The FDA had previously found trace elements of asbestos in baby powder in October of last year, prompting Johnson & Johnson to recall one production lot of the product.
In a statement, the company explained that “demand for talc-based Johnson’s baby powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.”
Johnson & Johnson will continue to sell alternatives to talc-based products, including cornstarch-based baby powder across its North American markets, in addition to continuing to sell its talc products across the world.