Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson says it will continue to sell its talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder in the UK and the rest of the world, despite stopping sales in the US and Canada.

It said North American sales had shrunk partly because of a “constant barrage” of advertising by lawyers seeking clients to claim against the company.

J&J has been at the centre of claims for years that its talc causes cancer.

It has always strenuously defended the product’s safety.

Johnson & Johnson has beenĀ ordered to pay out billions of dollars in compensation, but has so far always successfully appealed against these verdicts.

Almost 20,000 people in the US have so far lodged claims against the company.

Talc is mined from the earth and is found in seams close to that of asbestos, a material known to cause cancer.