J&J to stop selling talc-based baby powder in U.S., Canada

Calling it a “portfolio assessment related to COVID-19,” but also acknowledging it has been the subject of a “constant barrage of litigation advertising,” Johnson & Johnson announced it will discontinue selling its famed talc-based baby powder in the U.S. and Canada.

The New Brunswick-based global health care giant said baby powder represents 0.5% of its total U.S. Consumer Health Business.

The company said cornstarch-based Johnson’s Baby Powder will remain available in North America. And it said both types of Johnson’s Baby Powder — talc-based and cornstarch-based — will continue to be sold in other markets around the world, where it said there is significantly higher consumer demand for the product.

“Demand for talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising,” the company said in a statement released Tuesday.

The company defended the project, which has been the subject of numerous lawsuits, in the statement:

“Johnson & Johnson remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder. 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.”

Johnson & Johnson said it will wind down the commercialization of the product in the coming months and that existing inventory will continue to be sold through retailers until it runs out.