Johnson & Johnson, a leading US pharmaceutical company, announced on Thursday that it will stop selling its controversial baby talcum powder globally starting in 2023.
Two years after J&J stopped selling its products in the USA and Canada, the company announced that it would stop doing so abroad. The company also announced that it would switch from talc-based baby powder to cornstarch-based baby powder.
“As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio. As a result of this transition, talc-based J&J Baby Powder will be discontinued globally in 2023,” read the company’s statement.
J&J talcum powders, particularly baby powders, have been the source of controversy for a long time. Consumers and survivors have filed more than 38,000 complaints, some of which claim they suffered harm as a result of using the product. According to several of the cases, the powder contained asbestos, a material known to be cancer-causing.
Despite the halting of sales, the pharmaceutical giant stated in its statement that its product was safe.
“Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged. We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based J&J Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.”
According to internal memos that were shared within the company, J&J was previously revealed to be aware of the negative impacts of its product, according to a Reuters investigation. But it doubled its revenues by focusing on the market for overweight and African American women.
The legal loopholes
Furthermore, J&J applied a strategy known as the “Texas two-step” in February of this year to get a stay on the complaints in an effort to avoid lengthy legal battles. According to reports, J&J changes brought their baby powder to a newly created subsidiary called LTL Management.
The above-mentioned corporation succeeded to get the court’s approval for its bankruptcy case. It is important to remember that individual lawsuits are suspended in bankruptcy situations, therefore J&J was able to avoid the legal system by taking advantage of a loophole.