Johnson & Johnson to continue baby powder sales here despite withdrawal from US

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson say the decision to pull talc-based baby powder from the shelves of supermarkets in the US and Canada will not impact sales in Ireland.
Johnson & Johnson to continue baby powder sales here despite withdrawal from US

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson say the decision to pull talc-based baby powder from the shelves of supermarkets in the US and Canada will not impact sales in Ireland.

The company clarified it has no intention of taking the product of the shelves of Irish supermarkets, despite it being removed from sale in North America.

Sales in the US and Canada plummeted in recent years due to changing consumer habits and fears the product causes cancer.

In announcing the decision to withdraw talc baby powder from sale in the US and Canada, Johnson & Johnson hit out at what it called "misinformation" about the product's safety amid a host of legal challenges.

The company faces more than 19,000 lawsuits from consumers claiming talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos.

Johnson & Johnson has long rejected these claims, saying that it "remains steadfastly confident in the safety of talc-based Johnson's baby powder", citing "decades of scientific studies".

It has since clarified that the decision will not affect sales in other markets, including Ireland, where it employs 3,700 full-time staff.

"This decision to discontinue talc-based Johnson’s baby powder in the US and Canada is based on declining consumer demand for the product, due in part to ongoing misleading litigation advertising," the company said in a statement.

Johnson’s baby powder containing talc will continue to be sold in other markets around the world, including Ireland, where there is significantly higher consumer demand for the product.

The world's largest healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson said sales of the powder had dropped by 60% in the last three years.

Kathleen Widmer, chairman of North America for Johnson & Johnson’s consumer health division, said advertising from lawyers seeking new clients to sue the company had confused customers and caused sales to fall.

Ms Widmer said sales would continue outside the US and Canada, which only made up about 20% of the entire market for the talc-based product.

"Johnson’s baby powder will continue to be sold in other markets where there’s significantly higher demand, and where consumers are not confused by misleading litigation advertising," she said.

The company is continuing to sell cornstarch-based baby powder in the US and Canada.

Johnson & Johnson is to cut about 100 products to prioritise high-demand products like Listerine mouthwash amid challenges caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

This will allow the company to implement social distancing on the factory floor and in distribution facilities, it said.

Existing stocks of talc-based baby powder will be sold until they run out, the company added.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.