(By Theresa Braine, New York Daily News)
New York (tca/dpa) – Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its iconic talc-based baby powder in the US and Canada as soon as its current inventory runs out, the company announced Tuesday…
The decision was made due to “changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising,” the company said in a statement, adding that the powder makes up just 0.5% of its total US Consumer Health business.
The cornstarch-based version of the powder will still be available in the U.S., and both types will be sold in “other markets around the world where there is significantly higher consumer demand for the product,” Johnson & Johnson said.
The company has for years been battling allegations that its talcum powder is laced with asbestos and has given people cancer, and has paid millions of dollars in settlements.
In April 2018, a New Jersey court ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay banker Stephen Lanzo III 30 million dollars in compensatory damages and his wife, Kendra, 7 million dollars. Also in 2018 a Los Angeles jury awarded 25.7 million dollars to a woman who blamed her cancer on the powder, and a jury in Missouri awarded 4.69 million dollars to 22 women.
In March 2019, a court in Oakland, California, found in favour of Teresa Leavitt in ruling that the powder was a “substantial contributing factor” to her mesothelioma and awarded her 29 million dollars.
In all, as of March last year the New Jersey-based company was facing 13,000 lawsuits around the country.
Johnson & Johnson insists its products are safe and do not contain asbestos, even though in October 2019 it did recall a batch of talcum powder out of an “abundance of caution” after minute, “sub-trace” amounts of asbestos were found in a single bottle from a lot shipped in 2018.
“Johnson & Johnson remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder,” the company said. “Decades of scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product. We will continue to vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the company in the courtroom. All verdicts against the company that have been through the appeals process have been overturned.”
Author: ANA Newswire