Healthcare giant, Johnson & Johnson announced on Tuesday, 19th May that they will no longer be selling their talc-based baby powder in the North American (the United States and Canadian) market. The company, however, added that existing stocks of the products will continue to be sold by retailers.
The decision comes in the wake of the company’s internal assessment regarding its products during the ongoing pandemic. According to company’s statistics, its talc-based baby powder accounts of 0.5% of its business in the US and Canada.
In a written statement regarding its move, the company said, “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”.
Reportedly, the company has around 16,000 suits filed against its baby powder. The principal allegations in the cases filed pertain to the presence of asbestos in the baby powder that the consumers claim lead to cancer. Based on internal assessments, Johnson & Johnson released a report in December 2019 in which it noted that its product did not carry any asbestos.
However, prior to this assessment, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had found trace amounts of asbestos in the J&J baby powder forcing the company to withdraw one lot of its product from the markets. In fact, this withdrawal prompted J&J to carry out its internal assessment, in the first place.
Despite ending the sales of its baby product in the US and Canada, J&J has said that its talc-based product will be sold in the other markets in the world. Meanwhile, the company has also said it will continue to sell its corn-starch-based baby powder in these two countries.