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Johnson & Johnson to stop sale of talc-based baby powder in 2023

by Chloe Folmar - 08/11/22 9:06 PM ET

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday that it will stop selling talc-based baby powder in 2023.

The company said that the switch from talc-based to cornstarch-based baby powder is a “commercial decision” to sustain long-term business growth.

The move comes two years after Johnson & Johnson announced it would stop selling its talc-based baby powder products in the U.S. and Canada amid ongoing legal battles over whether the company’s baby powder and its talc ingredient led to people developing illnesses such as ovarian cancer and asbestos poisoning.

“We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer,” wrote the company.

While the company has experienced wins in talc-related cases, other legal battles led one of its subsidiaries to file for bankruptcy last year in an attempt to deal with tens of thousands of lawsuits over the alleged link between the talc-based products and cancer.

“As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio,” Johnson & Johnson wrote. “As a result of this transition, talc-based JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder will be discontinued globally in 2023.”

Johnson & Johnson said that the transition from talc-based to cornstarch-based baby powder will simplify the company’s product offerings, aid with sustainable innovations, meet the needs of consumers and coincide with “evolving global trends.”

“Cornstarch-based JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder is already sold in countries around the world,” the press release said.

“We remain fully committed to ensuring JOHNSON’S® products are loved by parents and families for years to come,” the company added.

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