WASHINGTON, D.C. — Approximately 170 not-for-profit organizations from around the globe demand that Johnson & Johnson stop selling talcum powder. The company stopped selling baby powder containing talc in the spring of 2020 in the United States and Canada, even though the company claims its baby powder is safe for use. However, a woman’s advocacy group in the U.S. identified by NewsBreak.com as “Black Women for Wellness” cites jury verdicts blaming Johnson & Johnson for selling talcum powder with asbestos to women of from “black or brown” cultures outside of the United States and Canada. The Black Women for Wellness advocacy group indicates that Johnson & Johnson’s willingness to sell talcum powder contaminated with contradicting statements the company made a short time ago pledging its commitment to fight racial injustice.
Advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and institutions of higher learning such as Emory University have also called upon Johnson & Johnson to recall all of the existing inventory of baby powder from stores in North America. Johnson & Johnson has refused to relent to the demands of advocacy groups. A spokesperson from the company said that the decision to stop selling baby powder in the U.S. and Canada stems from the proliferation of misinformation following the jury verdicts that tied cancer to talcum powder lead to a decrease in the product’s demand.
Discontinuing the sale of baby powder in the U.S., according to the spokesperson, was purely a business decision and in no way tied to the jury verdicts. The spokesperson also said that the demand for talcum powder is higher outside of North America, and reiterated the company’s position that talcum powder use is safe based on numerous studies conducted in various countries.
Opponents say that Johnson & Johnson’s executives have known for a long time that talcum powder could cause cancer due to asbestos contamination. Thousands of cases remain on court dockets filed by plaintiffs or the families of deceased relatives alleging that the victim developed cancer after unknowingly ingesting asbestos when using talcum powder.
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