American healthcare company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has said it is to stop manufacturing and selling its talc-based baby powder globally from next year.

In the future, Johnson’s Baby Powder will be made from corn-starch, which was introduced to the United States two years ago when the talc-based product was discontinued across the country.

J&J dropped the talc-based powder from its US-portfolio following a raft of legal claims from women who said the product contained asbestos and resulted in them developing ovarian cancer. However, the company denied the powder contained asbestos or caused cancer and continued to sell the talc-based powder in the UK and around the world.

In a statement, J&J said that it had taken 'the commercial decision to transition to all corn starch-based baby powder portfolio' resulting in the powder no longer being sold from 2023.

The company added that its position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remained unchanged. 'We stand firmly behind the decades of independent scientific analysis by medical experts around the world that confirms talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.'

In 2018, the Reuters news agency claimed that Johnson’s Baby Powder contained asbestos, an allegation always denied by the company. Talc is a clay mineral, often mined from where asbestos is found.

Johnson’s Baby Powder was introduced in 1894 to keep baby’s skin dry and rash free. It is also used by adults to prevent chaffing and as a dry shampoo.