DO UK PARENTS NEED TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT JOHNSON & JOHNSON TALC SCANDAL?
Talc-based baby powder has been a staple item for many households for over a century, used to soothe babies’ sensitive skin.
However, the talc-based product sold by Johnson & Johnson has been subject to controversy for several years amid claims, in the form of thousands of lawsuits, that it can cause cancer.
On Wednesday 20 May, it was reported that J&J is to cease sales of its talc-based baby powder in the US and Canada due to decreased demand.
However, the international pharmaceuticals producer is to continue selling the product in other parts of the world, including the UK.
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So should parents and other consumers who purchase the company’s baby powder be concerned?
Why is J&J ceasing sales of baby powder in the US and Canada?
When announcing it is to stop selling its talc-based baby powder in the US and Canada, the corporation said this decision was made due to “declining demand” in North America, which was “due in large part to changes in consumer habits”, with the coronavirus pandemic impacting shopping and manufacturing processes.
The firm added that the reduced demand had been “fuelled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising”.
J&J is current facing around 19,400 lawsuits alleging that its talc powder has caused users to develop cancer over the years.
In December 2018, a report published by Reuters claimed that J&J had been aware for years that small amounts of asbestos, a known carcinogen, were present in its baby powder.
The company has repeatedly maintained that its products are safe, with a spokesperson stating that the corporation has no plans to settle any lawsuits and “will continue to vigorously defend” its product.
The firm will continue selling its cornstarch-based baby powder in North America.
Christie Nordhielm, a professor of marketing at Georgetown University in Washington DC, speculated that J&J was tactical when deciding the time to announce the removal of its baby powder from the market in the US and Canada.
“It’s a nice time to quietly do it,” the professor said, in reference to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “It will minimise the reputational hit.”Read the full story here
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