J&J has faced tens of thousands of consumer lawsuits claiming that its talc products, including the instantly recognizable brand of Johnson’s Baby Powder, caused their cancer, but J&J said it remains confident in product safety and intended to continue to defend its products in the courtroom. .
It also plans to continue to sell baby powder containing talc in other markets around the world and will continue to sell baby starch-based baby powder in the North American market.
The company said demand for talcum baby powder in the United States was declining. In March, it decided to stop shipping hundreds of items from the controversial product line.
Last October, the company voluntarily recalled a batch of its baby powder after US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators found traces of asbestos in the product. The company said 33,000 bottles of talcum powder would be recalled “as a precaution.”
The recall was made in the midst of thousands of lawsuits alleging that the company knew that its baby powder was contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson vigorously denied these claims. It was the first time the company recalled its flagship baby powder product.
Baby powder accounts for about 0.5% of Johnson & Johnson’s total consumer health activities in the United States.
Although pediatricians have advised against using talc on infants for decades, arguing that there is a risk of inhalation and infection for babies, talc has remained one of the most well-known staple foods from Johnson & Johnson. The product is made from pure talc, a mineral that often appears in the veins alongside asbestos in the ground.
Concerns have also been expressed regarding the health effects of talc itself. For decades, talc has been used regularly as a dry lubricant in condoms and latex gloves, until doctors raise health concerns about talc, especially for women.
In a series of investigations by the New York Times and Reuters, internal documents from Johnson & Johnson revealed that certain company executives were concerned about talc products, including possible contamination by talc asbestos, new government regulations and public responses to health problems.