Johnson & Johnson is taking its talc-based baby powder off the US market.  It is due to falling sales and a public perception that asbestos in the product causes cancer.  The company fiercely defends its product but it cannot fight the marketplace, so it is giving in.  This is a case in which litigation was the cause of the cave-in.  The company has lost one court battle after another over the asbestos claim, and even if it is in the right, which we will only know in the future, there is nothing it can do.  From a PR and marketing perspective, the US public has made its choice and it is not for talc-based baby powder.  The company can gnash its teeth over the “unfairness” of it all but that won’t change public opinion.  It is one more instance of tort lawyers winning the day, whether or not they are scientifically right.

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