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J&J to replace talc-based powder with cornstarch after cancer lawsuits

Beginning the next year, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) would no longer produce or market its talc-based baby powder globally.

More than two years have passed since the healthcare behemoth stopped selling the medicine in the US before the announcement.

Tens of thousands of women have filed claims against J&J, claiming that the company’s talcum powder contains asbestos and contributed to their development of ovarian cancer.

However, the corporation reaffirmed its position that years of independent study had demonstrated the product’s safety.

According to a statement, “we have made the commercial decision to move to an all-cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio as part of a global portfolio evaluation.”

The company also noted that baby powder made from cornstarch is currently available in several nations.

J&J also reaffirmed that their baby powder is safe to use, saying, “Our view on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unaltered.”

According to decades of independent scientific research by medical professionals from all around the world, Johnson’s baby powder, which is based on talc, is harmless, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.

Due to what J&J called “misinformation” about the product’s safety amid a series of legal challenges, demand for its talc baby powder in the US and Canada had decreased by 2020, and the company said it would cease selling it there.

The company said that it will keep selling its talc-based baby powder in the UK and the rest of the globe at the time.

Customers and their survivors have filed lawsuits against the firm, claiming that J&J’s talc products had asbestos contamination and contributed to their cancer.

Talc is extracted from the soil and is located in seams next to asbestos, a substance considered to be carcinogenic.

According to a Reuters investigation from 2018, J&J has long known that asbestos was contained in its talc products.

According to Reuters, J&J’s finished powders and raw talc occasionally tested positive for trace levels of asbestos from at least 1971 through the early 2000s, according to corporate documents, trial testimony, and other evidence.

The company has consistently refuted the claims in response to asbestos contamination evidence given in courtrooms, in media stories, and before US politicians.

In October, J&J established LTL Management as a subsidiary and transferred their talc claims to it. Later, it declared bankruptcy, which halted the ongoing legal proceedings.

The business had to pay $3.5 billion (£2.87 billion) in judgments and settlements prior to declaring bankruptcy, including one in which 22 women received judgments totaling more than $2 billion.

A shareholder request to stop talc baby powder sales worldwide in April was rejected.

Since it has been on the market for over 130 years, Johnson’s Baby Powder has come to represent the brand’s commitment to families.

Nappy rash may be avoided using baby powder, which is also used cosmetically and as a dry shampoo.

Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson
Bob Carlson is a business journalist, with over a decade of experience in the trenches of reporting up-to-date business news for publications all over the world. With a wealth of knowledge at his back, Bob strives to bring the most important insights into the business world for TheOptic daily.
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