Johnson & Johnson resumes production of talc in India after regulators find no evidence of asbestos

MUMBAI: US talc maker Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on Thursday said that it has resumed production of its Johnson’s Baby Powder at plants in Baddi and Mulund, India after Government sanctioned testing reaffirmed that the product does not contain asbestos.

This conclusion by India’s drug controller reinforces the findings of decades of independent tests by universities, research labs and government regulators around the world that have consistently found that our talc is safe, J&J said in a statement.

“We stand behind the safety of our talc, which is routinely tested by both suppliers and independent labs to ensure it is free of asbestos. Johnson & Johnson has cooperated fully and openly with global regulators, providing them with all the information they have requested dating back to the 1960s, and has made its cosmetic talc sources and processed talc available to regulators for testing”, a J&J spokesperson said in a media statement.

J&J’s talc came under controversy once again in India when Indian drug regulators ordered the testing of the talc to check if it contained cancer causing asbestos.

Within baby care market worth Rs4000 crore, J&J controls three-fourth of the baby care market although it is facing growing competition from players including Dabur India and Himalaya Drug Company. Two years ago, Hindustan Unilever launched baby care products under Dove in a market where an estimated 26 million children are born every year.

While the company has lost share to Japanese firm Unicharm and Procter & Gamble in sanitary pads segment, J&J share in both soaps and skin care has fallen 100 basis points to 3% in calendar year 2017 compared to over 4.5% in 2014, as per industry quoting Nielsen data.

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J&J said research, clinical evidence and nearly 40 years of studies by independent medical experts around the world continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc.



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