Thursday, November 10, 2005

Focus on the Family Decries FDA Condom Guidelines; New Guidelines Still Fail to Ensure 'Truth in Advertising'

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Nov. 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Focus on the Family Analyst for Sexual Health Linda Klepacki, RN, MPH, today criticized the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) new guidelines for condom-package labeling, which fall short of fulfilling the requirements of a law signed by President Clinton in 2000. These requirements mandate that condom labels be medically accurate about the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of condoms in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), specifically the human papillomavirus (HPV).

"The FDA has finally attempted to comply with a law signed five years ago," Klepacki said, "and yet, these new guidelines for condom labeling still fail to ensure truth in advertising. Up to this time, condom labeling has been notoriously misleading about the efficacy of preventing the spread of STDs, particularly the spread of HPV - the leading cause of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, the guidelines released today remain medically inaccurate.

"The American people expect - and are entitled to - accurate information about the true failure rates of condoms. However, today's guidelines will continue to mislead Americans. Two decades of research have shown no evidence that condom use reduces the risk of HPV transmission."

Despite the fact that there is no epidemiological evidence that condoms reduce the risk of contracting HPV, the FDA's guidelines state that "consistent use of condoms may provide some benefit for these STDs, such as reduced risk of herpes infection or reduced risk of developing HPV-related diseases."

"This is an appalling deception," Klepacki said. "Under the guise of correcting previous errors, the FDA has allowed the condom purveyors to continue to create false hope about the effectiveness of their product.

"Even more disturbing is the knowledge that our children are being indoctrinated with this deception in their schools - in the name of comprehensive sex-ed. Our kids are being assured that they should place their faith in a piece of latex - never knowing that they are jeopardizing their own lives if they do so.

"Today's announcement only serves to underscore the importance of parents educating their children about the only safe and effective method of preventing STDs - abstinence before marriage and faithfulness thereafter," Klepacki said. "We must not be lulled into a false sense of security - abstinence ensures the best possible future for our children: a future not marred by disease and unplanned pregnancies.

"We call on the FDA to revise their guidelines to fully comply with federal law and end this misinformation campaign."

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James C. Dobson, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, radio broadcaster and the founder of Focus on the Family. Founded in 1977, Focus on the Family is a nonprofit Christian organization committed to strengthening the family in the U.S. and throughout the world.

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