The decision comes after a consumer products “portfolio reassessment related to COVID-19,” according to the company.
The world’s biggest maker of health care products said Tuesday the talc-based powder will still be sold outside the U.S. and Canada.
The U.S. healthcare conglomerate said it would wind down sales of the product, which makes up about 0.5% of its U.S. consumer health business, in the coming months, but that retailers will continue to sell existing inventory.
J&J faces about 19,400 cases alleging its talcum powder caused users to develop ovarian cancer, through use for feminine hygiene, or mesothelioma, a cancer that strikes the lungs and other organs. The majority are pending before a U.S. district judge in New Jersey.
J&J spokeswoman Kimberly Montagnino said the company doesn’t plan to settle any of the lawsuits and “will continue to vigorously defend” the product.
“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,” J&J said in a statement.
J&J will still sell its less-popular cornstarch-based baby powder in North America.