Johnson & Johnson has announced that the company will no longer sell baby powder containing talc worldwide by the end of next year after. The company did the same in the U.S. and Canada when thousands of lawsuits claimed it caused cancer.
Talc will be replaced by cornstarch, the company confirmed.
J&J has faced litigation over allegations its talcum powder has caused users to develop ovarian cancer using the product for feminine hygiene, or mesothelioma, cancer that strikes the lungs and other organs.
J&J argues, along with the overwhelming majority of medical research on talc, that the talc baby powder is safe and doesn’t cause cancer.
However, demand for the company’s baby powder has declined, and J&J has since removed the talc-based product in most of North America two years ago.
The company decided to do so after it saw a drop in demand due to “misleading talc litigation advertising that caused global confusion and unfounded concern” about product safety, a company spokeswoman said.
J&J said the change would simplify its product selection while also meeting evolving global trends.
Last October, the company announced a separate subsidiary had been created to manage talc litigation claims.
J&J has funded the subsidiary, named LTL Management, and established a $2 billion trust to pay claims the bankruptcy court determines that it owes.