An Open Let­ter to Ma­jor Re­tail­ers/ Dis­trib­u­tors of the Caribbean

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL - By Veronique N. La­mon­tagne

Ma­jor com­mer­cial brands such as Al­ways, Care­free and Ko­tex do not dis­play the ingredients of their prod­ucts on their pack­ag­ing. This sparked my re­search into the com­po­si­tion of these prod­ucts, which I sum­ma­rized in one of my videos found on my YouTube chan­nel Vee’s Views. These prod­ucts’ com­pa­nies are not re­quired to list the con­tents of their prod­ucts be­cause the Food and Drug As­so­ci­a­tion of the United States con­sid­ers them “med­i­cal de­vices”.

An in­de­pen­dent test con­ducted by Women’s Voices For The Earth con­cluded that there is a pres­ence of toxic chem­i­cals in these pop­u­lar fem­i­nine prod­uct brands; chem­i­cals which are con­sid­ered car­cino­genic by three ma­jor US health agen­cies, and have been linked to var­i­ous can­cers and may be linked to poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome and is­sues with heavy bleed­ing.

I am not im­ply­ing that these prod­ucts are solely re­spon­si­ble for these is­sues, but I do be­lieve that the rise in these “con­ve­nient” fem­i­nine prod­ucts is re­lated to the rise in the var­i­ous re­pro­duc­tive sys­tem-linked is­sues ex­pe­ri­enced by women ev­ery­day, all over the world.

Sadly, be­cause of our lim­ited med­i­cal re­sources as small is­land na­tions, it is a plight most of our women have to en­dure, or worse, suc­cumb to, be­cause the fi­nan­cial de­mand of re­cov­ery is too much to bear. I be­lieve pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures can be taken to al­le­vi­ate these bur­dens. Be­sides life­style choices, the use of spe­cific fem­i­nine prod­ucts can be one way in which women can pro­tect them­selves. But these health­ier al­ter­na­tives are not read­ily avail­able to us in the Caribbean.

To this end, I am re­quest­ing that the com­pa­nies that pur­chase fem­i­nine prod­ucts for dis­tri­bu­tion in our small is­land na­tions con­sider health­ier al­ter­na­tives so that we women can make our own choices and not be lim­ited to po­ten­tial can­cer-caus­ing prod­ucts.

I am also so­lic­it­ing the sig­na­tures of the pub­lic on www.change.org, in a pe­ti­tion en­ti­tled ‘In­crease the Avail­abil­ity of Or­ganic Fem­i­nine Prod­ucts in the Caribbean’ to raise aware­ness and fight for our health.

Some op­tions are the men­strual cup, cloth pads and 100 per­cent or­ganic tam­pons, pads and lin­ers. I do hope this pe­ti­tion sparks this nec­es­sary change and gives women the power to con­trol what goes on and in our bod­ies.

Visit Veronique’s youtube chan­nel ‘Vee’s’ Views to find out more about al­ter­na­tive fem­i­nine hy­giene prod­ucts, where to find them, and to sup­port the cause.

Saint Lu­cian blog­ger Veronique is call­ing on the pub­lic for sup­port in an ef­fort to get lo­cal re­tail­ers to in­crease the avail­abil­ity of or­ganic fem­i­nine prod­ucts.

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