After two years of ending sales in Canada and the United States, Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) will also stop selling its baby-talc product globally in 2023.
The same product has been the reason behind tens of thousands of consumer safety lawsuits that claim that the company’s talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
"As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio," the company?said in a statement on August 11.
The statement added, "We continuously evaluate and optimize our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth. This transition will help simplify our product offerings, deliver sustainable innovation, and meet the needs of our consumers, customers and evolving global trends." The company said that its cornstarch-based powder is already sold in countries around the world.
In 2018, a jury in St. Louis Missouri found that the company should pay a whopping $4.69 billion to a woman and 21 others after concluding that J&J’s talc-based products contained asbestos, "causing the 22 women, six of whom have died, to develop ovarian cancer."
In the same year, jurors in New Jersey also ordered J &J to pay $37 million in compensatory damages to a patient claiming asbestos in the products caused his mesothelioma. The company have since appealed the verdicts.
In its statement, J&J said that its position on the safety of its cosmetic talc remains the same and that it doesn’t contain asbestos. “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."