J&J to end sale of talc-based baby powder globally

Johnson & Johnson will discontinue its talc-based baby powder after tens of thousands of lawsuits have slammed the New Brunswick, N.J.-based pharmaceutical company about the product allegedly containing cancer-causing ingredients.

In 2020, J&J stopped selling the talc-based powder in the U.S. and Canada after racking up more than 16,000 lawsuits at the time, many coming from people with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma who said J&J didn't warn consumers of health risks. Before that decision, the company recalled 33,000 bottles after finding traces of asbestos, a carcinogenic compound, in one of its lots.

There are more than 40,000 lawsuits filed, according to The New York Times. In one of them, a Missouri appeals court ordered J&J in 2020 to shell out $2.1 billion to women with ovarian cancer who used the talc-based powder.

As thousands of lawsuits are ongoing, J&J will stop selling the talc-based powder by 2023 and is replacing it with its cornstarch-based baby powder because of "evolving global trends," according to an Aug. 11 press release.

"Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged," the company said. "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."

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