Johnson & Johnson Discontinues Talc-Based Baby Powder In North America

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Johnson & Johnson Discontinues Talc-Based Baby Powder In North America
Over the years, 19,400 lawsuits have alleged the company's talc-based baby powder contains asbestos.
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Johnson and Johnson says a decrease in demand for its talc baby powder has led it to stop selling the powder throughout the U.S. and Canada. It also also announced it's discontinuing about 100 consumer products overall. 

The world's biggest maker of health care products said on Tuesday, "Demand for talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising."

Over the years, the iconic baby powder has been the subject of 19,400 lawsuits alleging it contains cancer-causing asbestos and that the company knew about it. As recently as February, the company was ordered to pay $750 million to four plaintiffs who said the powder caused their cancer. 

But the company said it "remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson's Baby Powder." It also said Tuesday's decision was not based on any of the investigations into whether the baby powder contains asbestos. 

Johnson and Johnson said its talc baby powder will remain on store shelves in the U.S. and Canada until all of it has been sold. It will still sell its cornstarch-based baby powder in North America.

Additional Reporting by Linda A. Johnson of The Associated Press.