A very interesting scenario

Dear Editor,

Re: Record $417M award in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer

This is a very interesting case and is one that has broad implications for a range of products that are currently on the markets. It also brings to the forefront that critical requirement of effective food and cosmetic safety for our small nation.

Based on this case and as the saying goes, the Jury is still out as appeals are intended, we have an unsafe product on our shelves that we are applying to our babies in Samoa. It is almost a mandatory product included in our “asiga” of the newborn child.

The question is, how does Samoa react? 

We have this and another highly used product on our shelves used as a herbicide - Roundup know chemically as Glyphosate or locally as “fitu aso”. This is a product that the World Health Organization has classified as a “probable carcinogen”. In laymans language, “probable carcinogen” means that it causes cancer. California has recently required sellers of this chemical to include a warning that it causes cancer on the label.

This is where the waters get a bit muddied as in both cases we have products that are demonstrating through legal and scientific process that they are dangerous to human health. However we have strong commercial interests that do not want to see these products taken off the shelves. Basically they end up in stalemates and continue to poison the consumers who ingest these products one way or another.

The question then is, when and how does government react? Do we wait for a global announcement from WHO or other such organization? Do our local government bodies take the initiative and say - ok we need to look at this for the safety of the general public? What is the catalyst that initiates action of what we know is common sense?



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