Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc baby powder in US and Canada
"Demand for talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in North America has been declining."
Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc baby powder in the US and Canada, the company has confirmed.
Sales of the product had fallen in both countries in recent years due to changing consumer habits and concerns that the baby powder causes cancer.
J&J is facing thousands of lawsuits from consumers claiming that that talc products were contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos.
The company has consistently denied the presence of asbestos, but said they have decided to stop selling the products due to declining sales.
In a statement, J&J said that they would discontinue 100 products including the baby powder. They added that they are "steadfastly confident" in the product's safety and that they will continue to "vigorously" defend against the current lawsuits.
"As part of a portfolio assessment related to Covid-19, in March, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health stopped shipping hundreds of items in the US and Canada to prioritise high-demand products and to allow for appropriate social distancing in manufacturing and distribution facilities," they said.
"Demand for talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising."
According to BBC News, J&J faces over 16,000 lawsuits from consumers who claim that their products were contaminated with asbestos.
The company is now appealing a 2018 order to pay $4.7bn to 22 women who filed lawsuits against them, alleging that their products caused ovarian cancer. The US's Food and Drug Administration found trace amounts of the carcinogen during testing in October 2019.
J&J said last year that they found no evidence of asbestos during their own testing.