Johnson & Johnson to Discontinue Talc-Based Powder

    Photo: Pacific Press/Rex/Shutterstock [via The Guardian]

    The Facts

    • Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has announced it will stop selling talc-based baby powder globally in 2023, two years after it was halted in the US and Canada. Instead, the company will transition fully to cornstarch-based powder.

    • J&J is facing approximately 38k lawsuits, with many alleging that talc products have caused individuals to develop cancer.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While welcome, this long overdue decision isn't an attempt to do the right thing, but rather an effort to protect the company's reputation and get rid of a product that is no longer selling. J&J's delayed response, reluctance to admit the dangers of its product, and its "bad faith" bankruptcy reveal the profit-oriented company's priorities.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This isn't an admission of guilt or response to safety concerns, this is a business decision. Decades of independent scientific analysis have confirmed the safety of J&J's talc-based powder, but corn starch is cheaper, easier to obtain and the product is already sold around the world. This is a no-brainer solution for J&J to optimize its global portfolio and better meet its customers needs.

    Establishment split



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