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Johnson & Johnson to finish global sales of talc baby powder

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Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder globally in 2023, the drugmaker said on Thursday, greater than two years after it ended US sales of a product that drew 1000’s of consumer safety lawsuits.

“As a part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, now we have made the industrial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio,” it said, adding that cornstarch-based baby powder is already sold in countries world wide.

In 2020, J&J announced that it might stop selling its talc Baby Powder in america and Canada because demand had fallen within the wake of what it called “misinformation” in regards to the product’s safety amid a barrage of legal challenges.

The corporate faces about 38,000 lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products caused cancer on account of contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

J&J denies the allegations, saying a long time of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown its talc to be protected and asbestos-free. On Thursday, it reiterated the statement because it announced the discontinuation of the product.

The corporate spun off subsidiary LTL Management in October, assigned its talc claims to it and immediately placed it out of business, pausing the pending lawsuits.

Before the bankruptcy filing, the corporate faced costs from $3.5 billion in verdicts and settlements, including one wherein 22 women were awarded a judgment of greater than $2 billion, in line with bankruptcy court records.

A 2018 Reuters investigation found that J&J knew for a long time that asbestos, a carcinogen, was present in its talc products. Internal company records, trial testimony and other evidence showed that from not less than 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J’s raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos.

In response to evidence of asbestos contamination presented in media reports, within the court room and on Capitol Hill, J&J has repeatedly said its talc products are protected, and don’t cause cancer.

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