J&J Announces Global Removal of Talc Baby Powder Next Year

Consumer GoodsLegal News

More than two years after deciding to discontinue sales of Johnson’s Talc Baby Powder in Canada and the U.S., J&J announced a global removal next year. J&J also announced that it would replace its controversial talc ingredient with cornstarch, a replacement that can keep skin dry without potentially being contaminated with asbestos. 

J&J is facing over 40,000 talc cancer lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that long-term use of talc powder caused them to either develop ovarian cancer or mesothelioma. Dozens of non-profit organizations had called on J&J to remove its talc-based powders off shelves all over the world after the company announced in May 2020 that it would no longer supply the North American market with new stock of talc-based baby powder. 

Facing $3.5 billion in litigation costs over talc lawsuits, including a 2018 jury verdict that awarded 20 women $2.5 billion, J&J earlier this year formed a sub-entity called LTL Management that would hold the parent company’s talc liabilities. After LTL Management was formed, J&J had the subunit file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a slick legal maneuver criticized as a Texas Two-Step

If the bankruptcy judge responsible for overseeing LTL Management blocks Chapter 11 proceedings, J&J has said that it would form a new company for its consumer health products. 

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