May 19, 2020
Johnson & Johnson will discontinue sales of its talc-based Baby Powder in both the U.S. and Canada due to a decline in demand for the product and a change in consumer habits, the company announced on Tuesday.
The announcement by the New Jersey-based corporation comes as it has faced several lawsuits that have accused the talc-based Baby Powder of causing cancer.
The company blamed “misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising” for the drop in demand for the product.
“Johnson & Johnson remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder,” the company said in a statement. “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.”
The decision to permanently discontinue selling the product in both countries was made as part of a portfolio assessment in March at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said. The corporation stopped shipping hundreds of items to both the U.S. and Canada in order to focus on high-demand products, as well as to promote social distancing in manufacturing and distribution facilities.
The talc-based Baby Powder represents 0.5% of total sales in Johnson & Johnson’s U.S. Consumer Health business, according to the company.
Commercialization of the product will conclude in the coming months, and the existing inventory at stores across both countries can continue to be sold until it runs out. However, the cornstarch-based Johnson’s Baby Powder will remain available in both the U.S. and Canada.
Both the talc-based and cornstarch-based products will continue to be sold around the world in other global markets where demand is higher for both products.