Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder globally

Economy
Tue, 16 Aug 2022 8:15 GMT
Health-care giant Johnson & Johnson said it will discontinue the sale of its talc-based baby powder worldwide next year.
Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc-based baby powder globally

The U.S. company said late Thursday it is transitioning to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio. The product is already on the shelves in several countries.

The company is battling around 40,300 lawsuits against its talcum powder which allegedly contains asbestos and has caused ovarian cancers or mesothelioma in thousands of women during its decades of production.

In February, a New Jersey bankruptcy court had upheld Johnson & Johnson's bankruptcy claim to handle the talcum powder cases.

J&J proposed a $2-billion settlement for the case, much less than what the company would have had to pay if the strategy were not granted by the court. The company, which still claims that the talc is not harmful, reportedly expects the litigation of the deluge of cases would cost it $190 billion.

An original verdict of $4.7 billion was awarded by a Missouri jury in 2018 after 22 women blamed J&J for using asbestos in their talcum powders and baby products, which has led to their ovarian cancer.

In a statement, the company said, "Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged. We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer."

According to the company, the commercial decision to use cornstarch in all its baby powder products was made after conducting an assessment of its portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth.

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