In the News

Breaking News: Johnson & Johnson to End Talc-Based Baby Powder Sales in North America

"The company has faced thousands of lawsuits from cancer patients who claim that its talc was contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen, and that the company knew of the risks."

    - By Tiffany Hsu and in the New York Times, May 19th, 2020

In a developing story, the New York Times is reporting that Johnson & Johnson announced today (May 19, 2020) that it is discontinuing North American sales of baby powder made with talc. According to the article, Johnson & Johnson "would wind down sales over the next few months, allowing existing bottles to be sold by retailers until they run out. Baby powder made with cornstarch will remain available, and talc-based baby powder will continue to be sold in other parts of the world."

To read the full article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/19/business/johnson-baby-powder-sales-stopped.html

Johnson & Johnson's consumer announcement can be read in full here: https://www.jnj.com/our-company/johnson-johnson-consumer-health-announces-discontinuation-of-talc-based-johnsons-baby-powder-in-u-s-and-canada

The CMF will continue to monitor this story and will publish updates as they emerge.

The Star and The Record publish "The Uncounted", a 6-part series of investigative reports on occupational disease in Canada

"Many Canadians work their entire adult lives assuming if they become sick because of their job, they and their families will be taken care of. For the thousands of people who do develop an occupational disease each year, the reality is very different."

            From the Introduction to "The Uncounted", by reporter Greg Mercer

On May 8th, The Star and The Record published "The Uncounted", a series of six investigative reports written by reporter Greg Mercer on the toll of occupational disease in Canada. CMF Board Chair Dr Eudice Goldberg is quoted in Part 2: Prevention and Part 6: Compensation. CMF Board Member Alec Farquar is quoted in Part 2: Prevention. The work of CMF Scientific Advisory Committee member Dr Paul Demers (Director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre) is cited throughout and he is quoted in Part 1: Statistics, Part 3: Regulations, and Part 4: Diagnosis.

To view each of the reports, click on the links below:

Canada completes long road to asbestos ban regulation

Media Release CANADA COMPLETES LONG ROAD TO ASBESTOS BAN REGULATION: Pivotal to halt use in products, stop exposure October 18, 2018 Immediate Release Toronto – The use of asbestos and asbestos containing products will no longer be permitted in Canada as of December 30, 2018 under regulations passed today by the Canadian government. Canada now joins over 55 countries that have banned the use of asbestos. This regulation, supported very widely in Canada, is an essential step to stop asbestos exposure and protect health of workers and the public. “We commend the government of Canada for taking this critically important step to radically reduce future exposure of Canadians, especially workers, to the harms of asbestos,” states Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director and Counsel, Canadian Environmental Law. “This ban marks a necessary shift in Canada’s history with asbestos use, manufacture, import and export.” The regulation prohibits the import, use, sale, manufacture and export of asbestos and products with asbestos, and outlines permitting and reporting regimes for a narrow range of allowable uses. “Eliminating the use of asbestos provides an opportunity for innovation to find safe alternatives to the use of asbestos, for example brake pads and asbestos cement pipes. This will create jobs in Canada.” states Alec Farquhar, Coordinator, Asbestos Free Canada “The regulation requires accountability and reporting to the public. That’s a good thing! Stockpiles of asbestos and products containing asbestos, for example, are not allowed once the regulation is in place.” There were approximately 530 new cases of mesothelioma in 2011 and 1900 lung cancer due to asbestos.