After years of asbestos claims, J&J stops selling talcum powder worldwide

Reuters

NOS Newsyesterday, 16:46

Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder worldwide next year. The company is switching to powder made from corn starch, which is already on sale in several countries. Johnson & Johnson has been haunted for years by claims that the talcum powder also contains asbestos and causes various types of cancer.

For that reason, Johnson & Johnson stopped selling talcum powder two years ago in the United States and Canada. Due to “misinformation” about the powder, demand plummeted, the company said. The decision to discontinue sales now globally stems from “a global assessment of our portfolio”.

There are about 38,000 lawsuits pending from consumers and relatives who claim that the powder has caused cancer. This is especially true for ovarian cancer in women. The pharmaceutical company has always denied that the talcum powder is dangerous, stressing it again: “Decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world has shown that our baby powder is safe, contains no asbestos, and does not cause cancer.”

Internal documents

Yet Johnson & Johnson has been sentenced several times over the years to pay fines and damages due to the presence of asbestos in the talcum powder. All in all, it amounts to billions of dollars.

In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration found minute traces of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. According to the company, it was a concentration of 0.00002 percent in one bottle. After the find, 33,000 bottles were recalled “out of an excess of caution”. Out research by Reuters news agency In addition, internal documents from the manufacturer showed that small amounts of asbestos were found in talcum powder several times from 1971 to 2000.

In some mines, asbestos and talc form in close proximity to each other, which can pollute the talc.

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