Johnson & Johnson ends worldwide sale of talc products

Johnson & Johnson ends worldwide sale of talc products

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson announced last week that it will end sales of talc-based baby powder worldwide from 2024. The product is the same that is currently at the centre of approximately 38,000 lawsuits from consumers who claim the product has caused cancer due to asbestos contamination.

The United States FDA has confirmed that asbestos occurs naturally in close proximity to talc. The announcement that they will stop selling talc-based products will see the company transition to cornstarch-based baby powder products instead, based on what it noted as a “commercial decision.”

The decision to stop selling their talc products globally comes on the back of a decision made in 2020 that the products would no longer sell their talc products in the United States and Canada, due to an increase in “misinformation” about product safety.

Johnson & Johnson has always denied that its products contain asbestos, noting that they have undertaken scientific testing and met regulatory standards for decades, which showed their products to be asbestos-free.

Published scientific articles have suggested that their is a possible link between the use of talc and some types of cancer, but the studies have not “conclusively demonstrated such a link, or if such a link existed, what risk factors might be involved”, said FDA.

The historical allegations of asbestos tainting talc-based products have plagued Johnson & Johnson for decades. In 2018, Reuters published a piece following an investigation into the company, which revealed from internal company records and trial testimony that the company’s raw and finished products sometimes returned a positive result for small amounts of asbestos.

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