J&J product relaunch will keep talc in baby products

talc bottles 314x210 J&J product relaunch will keep talc in baby productsJohnson & Johnson is redesigning its Johnson’s Baby products line to appeal to millennial moms who are more conscious about the ingredients in the products.

According to CNBC, three years ago, the consumer health care giant began researching a relaunch of its line of baby products and, after talking to thousands of mothers, realized it needed to consider what it was putting into its products. “What we learned is that they were looking for fewer, simpler ingredients, more naturally derived ingredients in their products,” Trisha Bonner, associate director of research & development at J&J Consumer, told the news agency. “From that, we knew we had to completely make a change to our brand.”

In 2015, Johnson & Johnson removed paragons and phthalates from its products – ingredients that have raised red flags with consumer groups although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to find much evidence that either poses a risk to consumers. For the relaunch, Johnson & Johnson is also slashing the number of ingredients in the products by half, removing dyes and sulfates, and replacing ingredients like mineral oil with coconut oil.

The packaging has also been updated to include pumps to make products easier to use while holding a baby. The wash products have also been reformulated to leave less residue, and its packaging has been changed to make it easier to recycle.

Despite all these efforts to make the products with fewer questionable ingredients, the company refuses to remove talcum powder from its baby line despite recent litigation linking use to ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

“We are absolutely certain that science shows that our talcum product is safe, and we will defend our brand and defend our product,” said Jorge Mesquita, worldwide chairman and executive vice president for Johnson & Johnson’s global consumer unit in an interview with CNBC.

But Johnson & Johnson’s defense has been weak in the talc debate in the courtroom. In April, the company, along with its talc supplier Imerys Talc America, was hit with a $117 million verdict in a case brought by a man who claimed Johnson’s Baby Powder contains asbestos, and that his regular use of the talcum powder through the years caused him to develop mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure.

In four recent trials, Johnson & Johnson was also found liable for the development of ovarian cancer in women who used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder on their genitals for feminine hygiene. Four separate juries ordered the company to pay more than $307 million in damages for not warning women of the dangers of its talc-containing products.

Beasley Allen