Johnson & Johnson will stop selling talc-based baby powder globally in 2023 and instead will make it with cornstarch, the company announced.
The announcement came more than two years after the pharma giant ended U.S. and Canada sales of a product that drew thousands of consumer safety lawsuits filed by women who have developed ovarian cancer.
“As part of a worldwide portfolio assessment, we have made the commercial decision to transition to an all cornstarch-based baby powder portfolio,” the company said.
Johnson & Johnson said decades of scientific testing and regulatory approvals show its talc to be safe and asbestos-free. Sold since 1894, the Baby Powder became a symbol of the company.
In a statement Friday, the company said the move is as part of a worldwide portfolio assessment.
“We continuously evaluate and optimize our portfolio to best position the business for long-term growth,” the company said.
In 2018 A St. Louis jury delivered a $4.7 billion verdict against Johnson & Johnson, saying it failed to warn consumers about possible health risks, forcing other talc powder companies to put warning labels on their products.