There Is No Cancer in #CondomTruth

Fear-based condom marketing is the real “cancer” here.

condom_truthLast month, a new condom brand called Sustain began promoting a petition that demands the FDA to “Get Carcinogens Out of Condoms”. The possibility that condoms could cause cancer will scare the shit out of consumers and make them think twice about what condoms they invest in (that is, if they don’t turn away from condoms entirely).

And that’s exactly how Sustain wants you to react.

They center business principles around transparency, thus, making it their duty to educate the public of lurking dangers within the condom industry: “Fear not. Because their product is clean of any health risks. Want to avoid carcinogens? Sustain is your best and only option.”

Thankfully, these grand claims have not passively swept under the radar.

Melissa White’s investigation on RH Reality Check, Cigarrettes Cause Cancer, Condoms Don’t, reveals that the petition is based on a non-scientific, non-peer reviewed study, which is partly financed by Sustain themselves. Despite the fact the World Health Organization has never found any condom carrying health threatening amounts of nitrosamines, the study continues to favor Sustain over other condom brands; competitive brands which also profit in the vegan, fair-trade condom niche. As a result of White’s call-out, the group that conducted the study publicly clarified their findings stating that, indeed, there is no scientific proof that any condoms cause cancer.

Leave that worry to rest. Great! But the real issue at hand is the company’s irresponsible marketing and misuse of information.

Sustains efforts to “cleanse” the condom market of (unfounded) health risks is clearly motivated by business profit at the detriment of public health. In reality, to tout that “all other condoms except ours cause cancer” is a dangerous lie. As Melissa White states, Sustain’s marketing strategy has “the potential to unravel decades of committed work focused on saving lives through encouraging condom use and education.”

It’s completely unethical to skew consumer information with fear-tactics. The last thing we need is more lies to fuel safer sex stigma and condom hate. Hence we must to counteract.

Join the #CondomTruth campaign!

SHARE THE ARTICLE: Cigarettes Cause Cancer, Condoms Don’t http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3

TWEET: copy/paste these tweets or make your own

– Cigarettes Cause Cancer. Condoms Don’t. http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3 #condomtruth #bettercondoms

– I prefer my fiction at the library. Stop the misuse of safer sex information. http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3 #condomtruth

– Faulty studies & scare tactics risk lives http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3 #condomtruth #bettercondoms

– Misleading marketing hurts public health http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3 #condomtruth #bettercondoms

– Trust #science, not misleading marketing http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3 #condomtruth #bettercondoms

– Choose condoms with ethics not scare tactics http://bit.ly/1w5jzd3 #condomtruth #bettercondoms

TWEET at Sustain Condoms and share your thoughts with the campaign hashtag: #condomtruth

@sustaincondoms
@JeffHollender (Sustain’s Founder)
@missmeiks (Sustain’s co-founder)

Let’s take a stand and remind Sustain what true business transparency really means. 

This entry was posted in Activism, Soap Box and tagged , , , on by .
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About Lara

I am co-founder and contributor at Condom Monologues, specializing in queer approaches that affirm sexuality. I work and write for condom and lube specialists aiming to eroticize safer sex. My graduate work includes digital storytelling research with feminist organizations at the American University in Cairo. I've worked with various HIV groups and these days I volunteer with The HIV Disclosure project. I prefer traveling over settling.

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