Johnson & Johnson Inc.
said late Tuesday it will stop selling talc-based baby powder in North America following a flurry of lawsuits alleging the product causes cancer. Johnson & Johnson shares declined 0.3% after hours, following a 1% decline to close at $149.02 Tuesday. J&J said it was discontinuing sale in the U.S. and Canada as demand for “talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in North America has been declining due in large part to changes in consumer habits and fueled by misinformation around the safety of the product and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.” The decision was part of the company’s COVID-19-related product portfolio assessment, J&J said. Talc-based baby powder sales in North America represent 0.5% of J&J’s consumer health sales, according to the company. J&J, which stands behind the safety of its talc-based powder, said it plans to keep selling corn-starch based baby powder in North America. The company faces thousands of claims that its talc-based products cause cancer.