Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday said it would stop selling its talc-based baby powder in the United States and Canada, citing demand for it in North America has declined 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 New Brunswick-based company faces thousands of talc-related lawsuits nationwide where plaintiffs claim asbestos in talc caused their cancer. The health care company claims that numerous studies and tests by regulators worldwide have shown its talc to be safe and asbestos-free.
The company said its decision to permanently discontinue the talc-based baby powder, as well as approximately 100 SKUs, stems from its assessment in March to focus on only manufacturing “high-demand” products to allow for “appropriate” social distancing in its distributing facilities, according to a company statement.
J&J says its existing inventory of the talc-based baby power will continue to be sold until it runs out in the U.S. and Canada but its cornstarch-based baby power will still be available in North America.