A group of more than 170 consumer watchdog associations, universities, and environmental organizations sent a letter to Alex Gorsky, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), asking to remove all talc-based baby powder products from the global market.
The letter was sent this month by organizations from more than 51 countries, which included the Sierra Club, Greenpeace USA, U.S. PIRG, Emory University, and Black Women for Wellness.
The global recall request comes about two months after J&J decided to stop selling its talcum products in the U.S. and Canada, claiming a decline in consumer demand and misinformation about the safety of the products.
The letter states that J&J knew that its products could cause cancer, and instead of warning consumers about the potential risks, the company aggressively marketed the products to African American and Hispanic women. The groups want J&J to recall the products and safely dispose of the remaining inventory in the U.S and Canada.
More than 19,000 talcum powder and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits are filed against J&J in courts nationwide, each raising similar claims about the presence of asbestos and the risk of cancer. Most of the lawsuits are consolidated under multidistrict litigation, MDL No. 2738, whereas some are pending in state courts in Pennsylvania. Lawsuits are also pending in a California coordinated proceeding as a part of Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding No. 4877.