On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson announced that it would stop selling its talcum-based baby powder in the United States and Canada. The company faces over 16,000 lawsuits from consumers saying its talcum-based products caused their cancer.
The company-issued press statement read, “As part of a portfolio assessment related to COVID-19, in March, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health stopped shipping hundreds of items in the U.S. and Canada to prioritize high-demand products and to allow for appropriate social distancing in manufacturing and distribution facilities during this unprecedented pandemic.
“Demand for talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in North America has been declining 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.”
J&J also added that it would continue selling the remainder of its existing inventory until it runs out, and that cornstarch-based baby powder would remain available in North America.
The majority of the lawsuits are now pending before a US district judge in New Jersey, claiming that the company’s talcum-based products have been contaminated with asbestos – a known carcinogen.
After a US Food and Drug Administration test discovered trace amounts, J&J was prompted to recall 33,000 bottles of the baby powder in October 2019.
The company has repeatedly denied the claims labeling them as “false and inflammatory.” And on Tuesday, they reiterated denials.
“Decades of scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product. We will continue to vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the Company in the courtroom. All verdicts against the Company that have been through the appeals process have been overturned.”
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