Johnson & Johnson will no longer sell Baby Powder in the US or Canada - here’s why

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 2:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 2:49 pm

Healthcare brand Johnson & Johnson has announced it will stop selling its Johnson's Baby Powder in the USA and Canada, over cancer claims.

The healthcare giant is currently facing thousands of lawsuits from customers, claiming its talc-based products gave them cancer.

The firm has faced years of such lawsuits, in which Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to provide billions of dollars in compensation.

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‘Misinformation’ defence

However, despite the decision to withdraw the Baby Powder from sale, the company continues to defend the safety of its products.

The multinational corporation explained the decreasing demand for Johnson's Baby Powder in North America, as "due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product".

"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 added.

Johnson & Johnson is currently appealing against an order made in 2018 calling for the company to pay $4.7bn (£3.6bn) compensation to 22 women who claimed its products led to their development of ovarian cancer.

This is in addition to more than 16,000 further consumer lawsuits, all claiming that Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products contain the well known carcinogen, asbestos, after tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2019 discovered trace amounts.

After this finding, the company voluntarily recalled one batch of its baby powder, before launching a review and confirming that prior tests did not find any asbestos contaminating its Baby Powder.

Winding down the sales

Johnson & Johnson said it plans to decrease sales of the product in the next few months, adding that retailers would still be able to sell their existing stock.

The firm added that it made the decision after it was prompted by the coronavirus pandemic to reassess its consumer products.