More than 170 non-profit groups including, Black Women for Wellness, yesterday called for Johnson & Johnson to stop the global sales of its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder, citing concerns that it contains cancer-causing asbestos, according to a statement from advocacy group Black Women for Wellness.
The calls from several non-profit organisations, which include educational institutions such as Emory University and activist groups such as Greenpeace, among others, also asked the company to recall existing inventory in North America.
Janette Robinson Flint, the executive director of Black Women for Wellness, declared in a statement that J&J’s choice to continue marketing baby powder in international markets, specifically to Black and Brown consumers, contradicts a statement it issued in June committing to fighting racial inequality- check out the article here.
A worker waits for customers as bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder are displayed at a medical store in Kolkata, India. Image credit REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri
Specifically, Johnson & Johnson announced in May it would stop selling its talc Baby Powder in the United States and Canada, saying demand had fallen in the wake of what it called “misinformation” about the product’s safety amid a barrage of legal challenges.
However, something seems to have changed; J&J yesterday declared it would continue to sell its talc-based products in other markets around the world, contradicting its previous statements.
“Decades of independent scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” J&J responded in a statement yesterday.
“We continue to offer this product in many other regions around the world where there is higher consumer demand.”
Image credit AFP Photo
From 2018, J&J has faced intense scrutiny of the safety of its baby powder following an investigative report carried out by Reuters that found the company knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its talc.
Nonetheless, The U.S. drugmaker faces thousands of lawsuits from consumers and their survivors claiming its talc products caused cancer due to contamination with asbestos, a worldwide known carcinogen.
The company also declared in May that its decision to discontinue talc-based Baby Powder in North America was not connected to any of those investigations.