Government through the Ministry of Health and Child Care (MoHCC) has ordered retailers and pharmacies to destroy and immediately stop selling Johnson and Johnson baby powder products to the public.
This comes after a study revealed that a chemical used in manufacturing Johnson and Johnson baby powder causes cancer.
Research by the American Academy of Paediatrics gathered that the talc used in the production of baby powder was highly toxic due to contamination with carcinogen asbestos.
In a letter addressed to all Provincial Medical Doctors, MoHCC permanent secretary Air Commodore Dr Jasper Chimedza said the government is banning the importation, distribution, and sale of Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder containing the talc ingredient with immediate effect.
“Environmental Health Officers and Technicians are advised to remove all Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder containing the talc ingredient from the market. Inspectors are advised to document their findings and the products must be destroyed or recalled to the manufacturers,” said Dr Chimedza.
On 18 April 2023, an American television channel, Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) reported that Johnson and Johnson, an American multinational corporation, had assumed the liability to pay eight point nine billion United States Dollars (US$8.9 billion) to the medical industry in compensation over allegations that the company’s baby powder was causing cancer.
“The product is still popular in South Africa amid indications that most consumers are unaware of its potential risks. Given Zimbabwe’s significant importation of health products from South Africa, there is a high risk that the contaminated baby powder could still be finding its way into the Zimbabwean market.”