Counterfeit condoms being sold in Trinidad and Tobago

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.