Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, the makers of the world-popular talc-based baby powder has announced on Tuesday it is withdrawing sales from the US and Canada market following a drop in demand, according to Reuters.
The decision comes after years of development where the skincare-giant faces thousands of lawsuits regarding their baby powder having a cancer-causing effect, owing asbestos contamination.
In 2018, a court ruling ordered J&J to pay 4.1 billion to 22 women who reportedly sued the pharmaceutical-giant, alleging its talc-product caused them ovarian cancer. At that time the company was facing 9000 other legal disputes. Now, there are 19,000 lawsuits from consumers with similar claims.
For decades the company’s talc baby-powder has been synonymous with households around the world. In 2018, a Reuters investigation found the company knew about the presence of trace amounts of asbestos – a carcinogenic compound – in its talc powder, since at least 1971.
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The company, however, remains adrift with its belief in the safety of its baby powder. According to reports, the existing stocks will be sold until exhausted.
The company told in a statement: “Demand for talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.”
The company will continue to sell it’s powder in other markets, while in the United States the cornstarch-based option will be still available.
“We remain steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder. Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product,” the firm added.
(Cover image courtesy of Meet The Press via Twitter)