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Johnson & Johnson to stop global sales of talc-based baby powder

Sophie Smith
12 August 2022

Johnson & Johnson has announced it will stop making and selling its talc-based baby powder globally from 2023.

Following an evaluation of its global product range, the healthcare company said it will transition to a cornstarch-based baby powder.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said: "We continuously evaluate and optimise our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth. This transition will help simplify our product offerings, deliver sustainable innovation, and meet the needs of our consumers, customers and evolving global trends.

"Johnson's is a flagship global brand of J&J Consumer Health and we remain fully committed to ensuring Johnson's products are loved by parents and families for years to come."

The announcement comes more than two years after the company ended sales of the product in the US over health-related claims. The company has faced legal challenges about the safety of its talc product, with allegations that it contains asbestos and causes cancer.

However, J&J reiterated that decades of independent research shows the product is safe to use.

Johnson & Johnson added: "Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged. 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."

In October 2021, J&J created a subsidiary, LTL Management, which was used to assign its talc claims to. It was then placed into bankruptcy, which paused pending lawsuits.

In April 2022, a failed proposal from a shareholder called for an end to global sales of the talc baby powder.

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