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Johnson & Johnson Settles Talc Lawsuits for $700 Million, Agrees to Halt Sales of Talcum Powder Products

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Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay $700 million to settle lawsuits in the United States that accused the pharmaceutical giant of misleading customers about the safety of its talcum-based powder products.

The settlement resolves an investigation by more than 40 U.S. states into the marketing of baby powder and other talc-based products, which were found to contain traces of cancer-causing asbestos.

In a statement on Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James said:

Targeting communities with cosmetic products that contain dangerous substances is not just illegal; it is fierce.

No amount of money can undo the pain caused by Johnson & Johnson’s talc-laced products. Still, today, families can rest assured that the company is being held accountable for the harm it caused, and its dangerous products will no longer be on shelves in New York. Those who prey on our communities, hurt their health, and violate our laws will be met with the full force of my office.

As part of the settlement, the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company will permanently cease the manufacturing, marketing, and selling of all body products containing talcum powder.

J&J, which removed its talc-based powders from North American shelves in 2020 and halted its global sales last year, did not admit wrongdoing and maintains that its products do not cause cancer.

The company stated it would continue to pursue “several paths” to achieve a comprehensive and final resolution of the talc litigation.

The settlement announced on Tuesday does not resolve tens of thousands of lawsuits filed by consumers who allege that J&J products caused them cancer.

According to Al-jazeera, a 2020 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) did not find a statistical link between using powder in the genital area and ovarian cancer in women. However, researchers cautioned that the study, which included data from 250,000 women in the U.S., might not have been large enough to detect a potential slight increase in risk.

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