I have always thought the anti-GMO movement to be a first world problem. Where else in the world would we not only argue about how much food we have and the different ways to produce it, but also to fight to destroy a technology that helps us have these choices? I thought I had seen it all: a petition to get GMOs out of baby formula, a campaign from an organic yogurt company to #FightPesticides (even though organic farming uses pesticides as I continue to say like a broken record), but I was clearly mistaken because now they are trying to get GMOs out of feminine hygiene products—tampons and menstrual pads.
Conventional cotton, the most heavily sprayed crop in existence, is used in the tampons that women use each and every month. #AlwaysTell
— Naturally Savvy (@naturallysavvy) February 12, 2014
The actual petition is to get the brands Always and Tampax to fully disclose the ingredients in their products as they contain chemicals and “pesticides” as stated in the petition. Of course I also can’t help but see how this could potentially have an effect on agriculture production methods. Once again we have the moms of America indirectly telling farmers what’s safe and what’s not and what the best practice is and what’s not. It didn’t take much searching to find the FDA’s response to some of these claims about toxins here:
[Tampon] Manufacturers have provided FDA with test results of studies conducted at independent laboratories, using the most sensitive test methods available. Dioxin monitoring is a highly technical assay performed at only a few independent expert laboratories in the U.S. The detectable limit of this assay is currently approximately 0.1 to 1 parts per trillion of dioxin. Using these tests, dioxin levels in the rayon raw materials for tampons are reported to be at or below the detectable limit of the state-of-the-art dioxin assay, i.e., approximately 0.1 to 1 parts per trillion. FDA’s risk assessment indicates that this exposure is many times less than normally present in the body from other environmental sources, so small that any risk of adverse health effects is considered negligible. A part per trillion is about the same as one teaspoon in a lake fifteen feet deep and a mile square.
— U.S. Food & Drug Administration
As I stated, the actual petition is for transparency in their labeling, but it had to be taken one step further when an anti-GMO activist points out that cotton is used in feminine products and there is GMO cotton used in manufacturing tampons. I love how @mem_somerville responds, because it’s just simply ludicrous.
— mem_somerville (@mem_somerville) February 12, 2014
Image used with permission and created by @mem_somerville
There are already eco-friendly products on the market for feminine hygiene like reusable cloth pads and reusable cups. For the life of me, I don’t know why these women must go on yet another crusade attacking companies when there are alternate choices. It makes me feel so defeated for society that this petition for labeling tampons has >13 400 signatures since it was started and the petition condemning the destruction of Golden Rice test fields, an actual humanitarian cause, only has >6600 signatures since last August. I urge and challenge these women to fight for a cause worthwhile to all of humanity! There’s starving children, people who can’t afford medical care, and poverty all over the world (and even in your local communities); just to name a few. Here are just a few examples of organizations that you can put your efforts towards:
There are so many more. We have choices—so use them. Fighting about chemicals, toxins, and GMOs in tampons is just “silly business”, as I would say to my 4 year old.
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