I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried

Stripped to its bare essentials, regulatory capture is what happens when a corporation tries to legislate its competition out of existence rather than, you know, competing with them.  It happens in all sectors: banking, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, software, sex toys…

Wait, what?

Put down anything you’re drinking before you read on.  I’m not responsible for drenched keyboards.

When you’re the young owners of a Toronto sex shop specializing in eco-friendly vibrators and other adult toys, getting the ear of a Member of Parliament can be a challenge.

So, entrepreneurs Kim and Amy Sedgwick started off slow. The self-branded “eco-sisters” wrote a letter outlining their concerns of a “dangerous” problem hidden away in Canadian bedrooms everywhere – chemicals used in the majority of Canadian sex toys that pose a potential health risk for women.


And what are these awful chemicals?  As if you had to guess….

The issue is over plastics such as bisphenol A, a controversial chemical in Canada, and phthalates, used to make plastic soft and flexible. Dozens of studies have shown the chemicals may cause hormonal complications at certain levels of exposure, yet both are common in sex toys, which are classified as “novelty” items in Canada and are therefore removed from almost all oversight, Ms. Sedgwick says.

So while bisphenol A can’t be used in baby bottles, and phthalates can’t be used in children’s mouth toys, there’s no rules preventing their use in a vibrator, Dr. Bennett says.

I’m given to understand that BPA is most likely to leach out of polycarbonates into strong acids or boiling water.  If that’s your kink, you’re probably already using stainless steel.

(Note also that the “certain levels of exposure” shown to induce hormonal complications — BPA and phthalates are xenoestrogens — are left unstated in the article, and no consideration is given to levels of absorption of either from sex toys during use.  Who wants to write the ethics review for that study?)

Life, as ever, is toxic.  This strikes me as a shrewd move by the Sedgwick sisters and a drearily predictable overreaction — zOMG teh chemicalz r in ur dildoz!!1 — by MP Bennett.


2 Responses to “I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried”

  1. December 18, 2009 at 12:11

    Excellent :-)!
    (I’m surprised no one thought about this before…)

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anarchocapitalist agitprop

Be advised

I say fuck a lot



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