Johnson & Johnson to stop selling its talc-based baby powder in North America.
May 19, 2020
With over 16,000 consumer lawsuits filed against multi-billion-dollar company Johnson & Johnson over allegations that their talc-based baby powder products were contaminated with asbestos and caused cancer, the firm said it would stop selling their product in the United States and in Canada.
The company has denied these accusations, pointing out that tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration showed no traces of asbestos.
Their decision nonetheless comes after years of litigation that forced the company to pay out billions of dollars in compensation to customers who has fallen ill because of their talc-based product, although the company also says that the coronavirus pandemic played a role in making the call.
Sales of their product will not come to a screeching halt, however. Johnson & Johnson said it would allow their current inventory, which makes up about 0.5% of its US consumer health business, to sell out in the coming months.
The company has also blames declining sales in North America “due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product” and claim that “a constant barrage” of lawyers advertised for clients to sue them.
“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 said.
According to their website, the company believes that “good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress” and assert to “strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere.”
Johnson & Johnson is appealing against a 2018 order to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
The company employees 130,000 workers around the world and although it generated $82.05 billion in revenue in 2019, it suffered a net income loss of $15.11 billion.