Johnson & Johnson to stop selling baby powder in US, Canada

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 21, 2020

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson is going to stop selling all its talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in the United States and Canada, as per a BBC report.

This came after the company was mounted with charges relating to the production of substandard  talc based baby powder.

“This discontinuation is only effective in North America and was made due to dwindling consumer demand for the product, due in part to ongoing misleading litigation advertising. In other regions around the world, including India, where there is significantly higher demand for the product, talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder continues to be available,” said a company spokesperson.

Johnson & Johnson informed that it would stop the sales of the product, which makes up about 0.5 per cent of its US consumer health business, in the coming months. However, retail shops across the US can continue selling the product to exhaust the existing inventory.

The move comes after years of litigation where Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay out billions of dollars in compensation. However, the company has defended the quality of its products. 

The firm faces more than 16,000 consumer lawsuits alleging that the company's talc products were contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

The firm mentioned that due to the overwhelming number of lawsuits, the demand for talc-based products has fallen significantly in North America. Johnson & Johnson said, "due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product".

It said it had faced "a constant barrage" of lawyers advertising for clients to sue the firm.

"We remain steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder. Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product," it said.

Johnson and Johnson noted that the move has been taken as a part to reassess its business strategy prompted by the global pandemic.

It said in October that its testing had found no asbestos in its Baby Powder after tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration discovered trace amounts.

The firm is appealing against a 2018 order to pay $4.7bn (£3.6bn) in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer, BBC report added.

Published on May 20, 2020

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