Johnson & Johnson to discontinue sales of baby talcum powder globally

In the year 2023, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) will stop their selling of talcum-based baby powder globally, as mentioned by them on Thursday, for more than two years after it ended US sales of a product that drew thousands of consumer safety lawsuits.

“As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio,” it said, also adding that cornstarch-based baby powder has already been sold among countries around the world.

In the year 2020, J&J announced that it would stop selling its talcum baby powder in the US and Canada because demand had fallen rapidly due to the “misinformation” about the product’s safety amid a barrage of legal claims.

The company faces about 38,000 lawsuits from consumers as well as survivors after claims that their talcum products caused cancer due to it being contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

However, J&J denies the allegations, stating that a plethora of scientific testing and regulatory approvals have been done to prove its talcum product is indeed safe and asbestos-free. 

On Thursday, the statement was reiterated whilst announcing the discontinuation of the product.

In October, J&J spun off subsidiary LTL Management, by assigning its talcum claims to it and immediately placed it into bankruptcy, in order to pause the pending lawsuits.

But, before filing for bankruptcy, the company faced costs from US$3.5 billion in verdicts and settlements, including one in which 22 women were awarded a judgment of more than US$2 billion, based on bankruptcy court records.

A shareholder’s proposal requesting for global sales of talcum baby powder to end unfortunately failed in April.

Based on a 2018 Reuters investigation, it is found that J&J knew for decades that asbestos, a carcinogen, was present in its talcum products. Internal company records, trial testimony and other evidence showed that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J’s raw talcum and finished powders sometimes include small amounts of asbestos in their products.

In response to evidence of asbestos contamination shown on media reports, in the courtroom and on Capitol Hill, J&J has repeatedly said its talcum products are safe, and is not cancerous.

Selling since the year 1894, Johnson’s Baby Powder has become a symbol of the company’s family-friendly image.

An internal J&J marketing presentation from 1999 refers to the baby products division, with Baby Powder at the core, as J&J’s “#1 Asset”,as reported by Reuters, even though it accounted for only 0.5% of its US consumer health business when the company stopped its production.


Source: freemalaysiatoday

Photo Credit:


MARKETING Magazine is not responsible for the content of external sites.

The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


Download Event PDF
Submit Entries Here

Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene