Fueled by Covid-19 and Consumer Distrust, Johnson & Johnson Pulls Talc-based Baby Powder fom U.S. and Canadian Stores

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Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health announced on May 19, 2020 that their long-scrutinized talc-based baby powder will be pulled permanently from all store shelves in the United States and Canada. This discontinuation comes after years of allegations claiming the defective product is linked to asbestos-related health conditions.

In a statement released by Johnson & Johnson, the company cited a recent “portfolio assessment” brought about by the need to prioritize high-demand products amidst the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic and a shift in consumer habits as the reasons behind the decision to discontinue the product. Over the last three years, sales of Johnson & Johnson baby powder have plunged by 60% as consumer health concerns grow and mounting litigation highlighted the product for its potential link to ovarian cancer in women.

Johnson & Johnson has claimed that consumer concern is largely due to misinformation related to the safety of the talc-based baby powder product and its alleged link to ovarian cancer. Despite the company’s involvement in over 15,000 talcum powder lawsuits claiming that the company failed to warn their customers that their talcum powder contained asbestos, Johnson & Johnson has nonetheless defended their product.

For those who’ve suffered as a result of using or being exposed to Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, removing this defective product from stores is only the beginning. Many will turn to personal injury attorneys and defective product lawyers in order to seek compensation for the damage caused by Johnson & Johnson’s failure to properly inform the consumer of the risk of using talcum powder over the years. This will likely only add to the upwards of $725 million paid out thus far by Johnson & Johnson as the result of lost verdicts.

Johnson & Johnson has been under fire for the last several years due to the potential for asbestos-related illnesses resulting from using their talcum powder baby powder product. Last year alone, the company voluntarily recalled approximately 33,000 bottles of their baby powder from American stores following an announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that products purchased online were found to be contaminated with asbestos.

As the brand’s signature talcum powder baby powder is pulled from store shelves across the United States and Canada, the company says it will continue to offer its cornstarch-based powder to consumers.