US-based pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said on Thursday it will stop manufacturing its talc-based baby powder worldwide by 2023 amid a barrage of about 38,000 cancer-related lawsuits faced by the company in the last few years.
Their decision to discontinue their controversial talc-powder world-wide comes two years after they discontinued its sales in the US and Canada. A statement released by the company stated that J&J is switching to a cornstarch-based baby powder already being sold worldwide.
The company faced tons of lawsuits from consumers during past years where the latter claimed that J&J products caused them ovarian cancer due to a substance named asbestos present in it. However, J&J initially denied these allegations by saying that decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown its talc to be safe and asbestos-free. Now, they reiterated their statement with discontinuation of their product.
In a 2018 investigation by Reuters it was revealed that J&J knew for decades about asbestos (a carcinogen) being present in its talc-based baby powder.
In 2020, J&J stopped selling their talc-powder in the United States and Canada citing fallen demand due to ‘misinformation’ about their product’s safety amid all the legal battles. But they decided to sell it in the UK and other countries globally.
In October 2021, J&J created a subsidiary named LTL Management and assigned its talc claims to it and later filed for bankruptcy, pausing the pending lawsuit. Before filing for bankruptcy, the company faced a lawsuit of about $3.5 billion in verdict and settlements.