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Washington:

 
Johnson & Johnson (J& J), US-based global healthcare company, has announced it will stop selling baby talcum powder in the US and Canada. According to the media reports, the company faces thousands of consumer lawsuits claiming it caused cancer.

The announcement comes after years of litigation where J& J has been asked to pay billions of dollars in damages. It faces over 16,000 consumer lawsuits alleging talc products were contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.

J& J said it would wind down sales of the product, which accounted for 0.5 per cent of its US consumer health business, in the coming months. But retailers will continue to sell the existing inventory.

The firm said demand for its baby powder had been declining in North America “due, in large part, to changes in consumer habits and misinformation around the safety of the product”.

J& J said it had faced “a constant barrage” of lawyers advertising for clients to sue the firm. “We remain steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based baby powder. Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of our product,” the company was quoted as saying by the BBC.

In October 2019, J& J said its testing had found no asbestos in the baby powder after tests by the US Food and Drug Administration discovered trace amounts.

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