Earlier this month, baby cosmetic heavy-weight Johnson and Johnson (“J & J) announced that they will no longer be selling their talcum-based baby powder come 2023. 


The decision comes amidst numerous global lawsuits resulting from the allegation that talcum causes cancer. J & J had previously taken the decision not to supply the product in the US and Canada. However, financial implications resulting from the allegation appear to have brought about the decision to globally halt the supply of the product. 


Although not specifically singling it out, the decision once again casts light on consumer-based protective mechanisms and the obligations placed upon suppliers. 


Many believe that J & J ought to have known of the dangers of their product. Therefore, it is important to consider mechanisms such as the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008, as amended (the ”CPA”). The CPA provides for the right to receive warnings and, allows consumers to hold suppliers liable for harm caused by goods under Section 61. 

In other words, should consumers be harmed by unsafe goods, they will be in a position to claim for damages resulting from same by utilising the mechanisms under Section 61. Furthermore, the claimant will have to show that it qualifies as a consumer under the CPA.


In addition to the CPA, the supply of unsafe goods could give rise to claim in delict and/or contract.

J & J maintain that their product is safe but have elected to change the constitution of their baby powder to a cornstarch-based powder as opposed to talcum. 


Contact an attorney at SchoemanLaw for your consumer law needs.