Counterfeit condoms are being sold in T&T, one of the popular brands available locally has warned, saying that the situation poses a threat to public health.
However, contacted on the issue yesterday Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said he was unaware of any such situation taking place here.
SLAM condoms yesterday placed an advertisement in the newspaper criticising the “inferior” counterfeits and highlighting ways that the fakes can be detected by consumers.
Genuine Slam condoms are made in Thailand by Thai Nippon Rubber Company Limited.
However, the counterfeits claim to be made in China.
The findings locally come six months after police broke up a gang making and selling counterfeit condoms in eastern China.
More than 500,000 boxes of the fakes, with a total value of US$ 7 million, were seized and 17 people were detained during those investigations.
Counterfeit Durex condoms were among the stash found in China
“They say imitation is the greatest flattery, but counterfeit products are not just about stealing, they can cause real harm,” SLAM’s ad stated.
SLAM said there are differences in the packaging that will help customers differentiate between authentic and counterfeit condoms.
“Counterfeit condoms are a serious problem for all manufacturers of condoms worldwide,” SLAM stated.
“Condoms are regulated as a medical device and unscrupulous criminals are substituting inferior products into familiar brands. These devices could do harm and destroy the reputation of established brands,” it stated.
In the investigation in China it was revealed that some of the counterfeit condoms were recycled from used ones.
SLAM said the fakes are “simply second rate” and are “manufactured to questionable standards in China”.
Compared to SLAM the counterfeits were said to be smaller, shorter and used thinner latex.
“It has a rubbery smell vs SLAM’s strawberry essence. The difference is obvious and the easiest way of telling, is to look at the back of the pack,” SLAM stated.
SLAM said its brand was not the only one being targeted.
“We believe an educated consumer is an empowered consumer,” it stated.
“A portion of our proceeds goes towards bettering our planet on such crucial programs such as AIDS awareness and family planning. We care about you and our community. The other guys don’t,” it stated.
The company called on customers to be on the lookout for counterfeits and report if any are found.
Asked whether he had any advice for consumers, in light of the claims being made by SLAM Deyalsingh said he cannot comment on anything that he is not aware of or does not have facts on.
“I will not respond to something that I am not intimately aware of,” Deyalsingh said.