WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Johnson & Johnson has decided to stop using talc in its baby powder products in the US and Canada.
- Talc is similar in structure to asbestos, which has been known to cause cancer.
- The company insists that its product is safe, and is simply pulling it out due to the interest in it declining due to change in consumer habits and “misinformation.”
Johnson & Johnson will not continue the use of talc as an ingredient in its baby powder in the US and Canada. The announcement was made on Tuesday after allegations and legal battles over several years, arguing that the product may have caused cancer.
The company insists that it is only pulling the product because of declining consumer interest in it, which is somewhat due to “misinformation” as well as “changes in consumer habits.” It will still continue to “vigorously defend” the product saying that decades of scientific study provide the basis for its safety.
US lawsuits were filed by thousands of women about the talcum powders. They claimed that the asbestos contained in the powder lead to their cancers. Talc is a mineral that has a similar structure to asbestos, a compound known to cause cancer. Sometimes, the two are both acquired from the same mines.
The US government led research in January that found no strong evidence that connects ovarian cancer with baby powder. Other smaller studies that investigated possible links between talcum powder and cancer have results that are conflicting and almost no connection was found.
Through appeal, all verdicts in lawsuits that made similar claims were overturned, according to a statement from Johnson & Johnson.
However, in other global markets where there is “significantly higher consumer demand”, the talc-based powder will still be available for purchase alongside another one of the company’s products that is cornstarch-based.