21 May 2020 - Deborah Wilkes
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Consumer Health has discontinued talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the US and Canada, but will continue selling the product in other markets around the world.
The company said demand in North America had declined “due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising”.
Confident product is safe
J&J stressed that it “remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder”.
“Decades of scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product,” commented the company. “We shall vigorously defend the product, its safety, and the unfounded allegations against it and the company in the courtroom.”
“All verdicts against the company that have been through the appeals process have been overturned,” added J&J.
Cornstarch-based Johnson’s Baby Powder will remain available in North America. Both types of Johnson’s Baby Powder – talc-based and cornstarch-based – will continue to be sold in other markets around the world.
J&J said it remained “fully committed to its Johnson’s Baby brand.
The company noted that Johnson’s Baby Powder accounted for around 0.5% of sales by the Consumer Health division in the US.
Response to COVID-19 pandemic
J&J said a portfolio assessment related to the COVID-19 pandemic in March had led the company to stop shipping hundreds of items in the US and Canada. This had allowed high-demand products to be prioritised, added the company, as well as allowing for appropriate social distancing in manufacturing and distribution facilities.
Following this portfolio assessment, J&J has now decided to discontinue permanently around 100 stock-keeping units.