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Johnson & Johnson discontinues sale of talc-based baby powder worldwide
Johnson & Johnson announced it would stop selling its talc-based baby powder around the world starting next year. The New Jersey-based pharmaceutical industry company further revealed that it would be replacing the discontinued product with cornstarch-based powder.
According to CNN Business, Johnson & Johnson already halted the sale of its talc-based powder in Canada and the United States in 2020 as it has been facing thousands of lawsuits due to claims that its talcum powder caused ovarian cancer in women.
Thousands of women who have developed cancer of the ovary have sued the company. They claimed to have been using the talc-based powder regularly, and the use caused them to be afflicted with the dreaded disease.
In the lawsuits, women alleged that the asbestos in the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder causes cancer. In 2018, the jury in a St. Louis court awarded $4.7 billion to the complainants and their families. The company lost the case when the court said it was negligent and failed to warn consumers about potential health risks from the use of its baby powder.
It was noted that many other talcum powder brands had put warnings on their labels. However, Johnson & Johnson did not, and for this, it argued that such a label would be confusing. Moreover, there were scientific studies that showed an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who use talc in their genital area, although others do not.
In any case, despite the announcement that it will no longer sell talcum powder, Johnson & Johnson still insisted that its baby powder is safe and does not cause cancer. It stated that it is still confident in the safety of the product but will be pulling them out from the market as part of a "worldwide portfolio assessment."
"We continuously evaluate and optimize our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement. "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 added, "Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged and 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."
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