Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has announced that it will discontinue the selling of the talc-based Baby Powder in North America following a series of lawsuits from patients claiming that the powder caused cancer.
Sale of cancer-causing talc-based Baby Powder discontinued in North America
The company indicated that it is discontinuing sales of the powder due to a decline in sales in North America. The company said that misinformation regarding the safety of the powder, as well as a barrage of advertising from litigations, necessitated the move. The company has faced over 19,000 lawsuits filed against the products from distressed consumers.
For years, the talc-based product has been at the center of criticism, claiming that it contains carcinogens. However, the company has always insisted that its products are safe. Although there has been a series of compensation orders against the company, it has managed to appeal most of the verdicts successfully. But it has also had to pay billions to consumers who claimed that the powder resulted in mesothelioma and ovarian cancer. The company was ordered to compensate 22 women who had ovarian cancer with $4.7 billion.
In 2018 Johnson &Johnson was hit with another blow after Reuters established that for decades the company had been using talc with the knowledge that it contained asbestos. Talc is found naturally on earth but in strata near those of asbestos, which is known to cause cancer. A congressional probe on these claims was confirmed at the beginning of this year.
Johnson & Johnson to continue selling talc-based powder in other markets
The company has indicated that cornstarch Baby Powder will continue to be sold in North America. Johnson & Johnson said that they will allow the current bottlers of the Baby Powder to be sold until retailers clear them out. Interestingly the company says that it will continue selling the talc-based powder in other markets across the globe.
Even though the company is discontinuing sales of the product in North America, it has vowed to continue defending it in court.