Bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder line a drugstore shelf in New York.
Lucas Jackson | Reuters
Johnson & Johnson will no longer sell its talc-based baby powder globally in 2023, the drugmaker said on Thursday, more than two years after it stopped selling the product in the United States and Canada.
“As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio,” it said, adding that cornstarch-based Baby Powder is already sold in countries around the world.
In 2020, J&J announced that it would stop selling its talc Baby Powder in the United States and Canada, saying demand had fallen in the wake of what it called “misinformation” about the product’s safety amid a barrage of legal challenges.
The company faces about 38,000 lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
J&J denies the allegations, saying decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have shown its talc to be safe and asbestos-free.
J&J spun off subsidiary LTL Management in October, assigned its talc claims to it and immediately placed it into bankruptcy, pausing the pending lawsuits.