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Johnson & Johnson to end global sales of talc-based baby powder in 2023

Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday that it is discontinuing the global sale of its talc-based baby powder. File Photo by Dan Peled/EPA
Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday that it is discontinuing the global sale of its talc-based baby powder. File Photo by Dan Peled/EPA

Aug. 12 (UPI) -- U.S. pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced it will no longer sell its talc-based baby power in 2023 following thousands of lawsuits that claim the product causes cancer.

The company announced its decision to end global talc-based baby powder sales on Thursday, saying it plans to transition to an all cornstarch-based product.

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"This transition will help simplify our product offerings, deliver sustainable innovation and meet the needs of our consumers, customers and evolving global trends," the New Jersey-based company said in a statement.

The announcement comes a little more than two years after it said it would stop selling the talc-based product in Canada and the United States and following some 40,000 lawsuits filed by customers who say it causes ovarian cancer and other ailments.

U.S. judges have awarded billions of dollars to women in those lawsuits, and in February a judge okayed the bankruptcy of a subsidiary Johnson & Johnson spun off last fall with the purpose of taking on liability of the court decisions.

The company has repeatedly defended its product against the health accusations and said Thursday that "[o]ur position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged."

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"We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer." it said.

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