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Johnson & Johnson to end sales of baby powder with talc globally next year

Johnson & Johnson is pulling its talc-based baby powder from shelves worldwide next year in favour of a product based on cornstarch (Jeff Chiu/File/AP)
Johnson & Johnson is pulling its talc-based baby powder from shelves worldwide next year in favour of a product based on cornstarch (Jeff Chiu/File/AP)

Johnson & Johnson is pulling baby powder containing talc worldwide next year after it did the same in the US and Canada amid thousands of lawsuits claiming it had caused cancer.

Talc will be replaced by cornstarch, the company said.

The company has faced thousands of lawsuits alleging its talcum powder caused users to develop ovarian cancer, through use for feminine hygiene, or mesothelioma, a cancer that strikes the lungs and other organs.

J&J insists, and the overwhelming majority of medical research on talc indicates, that the talc baby powder is safe and does not cause cancer.

However, demand for the company’s baby powder fell off due to the controversy and it removed talc from the products in most of North America.

J&J said the change will simplify its product selection and meet evolving global trends.

Shares of Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, were essentially flat before the opening bell on Friday.