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Johnson & Johnson under fire for selling talcum baby powder that allegedly causes cancer

Johnson & Johnson under fire for selling talcum baby powder that allegedly causes cancer

Saad Ali Rana

Johnson & Johnson will continue to sell its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the UK and the rest of the world, despite stopping sales in the US and Canada and allegations that the powder causes cancer, reports BBC.

J&J has been at the centre of claims for years that its talc causes cancer. It has always defended the product’s safety.


Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay out billions of dollars in compensation, but has so far always successfully appealed against these verdicts. Almost 20,000 people in the US have so far lodged claims against the company. Talc is mined from the earth and is found in seams close to that of asbestos, a material known to cause cancer.

Company responds

The company said in a statement: “Johnson & Johnson remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder.” It said “decades” of study by medical and legal experts around the world supported its view, and all verdicts against the company that had gone against it had been overturned on appeal.

The powder will continue to sell

The company will continue to sell its talc-based products in the US and Canada until stocks have sold out. It said both types of Johnson’s baby powder, talc-based and cornstarch-based, will continue to be sold in other markets around the world where there is “significantly higher” consumer demand for the product.

Johnson & Johnson claim that its testing had found no asbestos in its baby powder after tests conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration discovered trace amounts. The firm is appealing against a 2018 order to pay $4.7bn (£3.6bn) in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

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