Johnson & Johnson has stopped selling a product that it has been associated with for over 100 years. The company announced that it would discontinue talcum-based products such as Johnson's Baby Powder® once the current supply on store shelves is depleted. It claims that the decision has been influenced by lawsuits, the COVID-19 outbreak, and a decrease in demand for the product.
Why Did Johnson & Johnson Stop Selling Talcum-Based Baby Powder?
On its official website, the company said the discontinuation of the product in Canada and the United States was in response to a portfolio assessment related to COVID-19. The pharmaceutical giant claims that pulling baby powder from the market is to “prioritize high-demand products and to allow for appropriate social distancing in manufacturing and distribution facilities during this unprecedented pandemic.”
The company also cites a lack of demand for talc-based Johnson’s baby powder caused by “changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.” It’s facing tens of thousands of lawsuits filed by women who’ve developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder.
For decades, Johnson & Johnson has disputed claims and scientific studies that their talcum-based baby powder has caused thousands of women to develop ovarian cancer—a cancer that is difficult to detect until it has reached terminal stages for patients. The company has disputed talcum powder’s connection to cancer and has vehemently declined to put warning labels on packaging for it as other companies have done. According to Johnson & Johnson, a warning label would be too confusing for consumers.
What Is Talcum Powder’s Relation to Cancer?
Since the early 1970s, studies have linked ovarian cancer to talcum powder. While the exact mechanisms by which talcum causes cancer are unknown, many researchers think that talcum particles can enter through the vaginal opening and make their way to the ovaries, causing cancer to develop there.
Despite being uncertain about the exact way talcum powder causes cancer, researchers have discovered that women who use talc powder are three times more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Other studies, such as one from the Cancer Prevention Research Journal, have even found that talc powder can lead to a 41 percent increase in a woman’s risk of cancer. Yet, Johnson & Johnson has continued selling and defending the product, right up until it pulled it from production in North America.
If you or someone you love has developed ovarian cancer after using talcum-based baby powder, help is available. Find out more information by visiting our website and filling out our simple online form. Finding out if you have a case is free, confidential, and has no obligations.