cheap ray ban Did you hear the one about the fake Irish condoms
Did you hear the one about the fake Irish condoms
Could these fake condoms,cheap ray ban sunglasses, some of which were found to have holes in them, result in a mini baby boom pushing up the population even further? What many considered to be 'safe sex' may not be all that safe after all.
Not since the Kildare doctor Andrew Rynne was fined 500 for supplying 10 condoms to a patient 22 years ago before the liberalisation of our contraceptive laws have condoms created such a stir.
There are two shocking aspects to the sale of bogus Durex condoms: first,cheap michael kors purses, up to 480,000 of the dodgy contraceptives were sold mostly through ordinary high street chemists, which are supposed to be properly regulated and would not normally be expected to be selling fake goods. Second,Michael kors outlet, it took nearly 10 months for anyone in this country to discover that the counterfeit Durex Extra Safe and Durex Fetherlite condoms were in circulation.
Normally canny consumers have a fair idea when they are buying bogus merchandise: they are sold in street markets, in discount stores or doortodoor and the price is normally cheap.
Ann O'Connor of the Irish Medicines Board, which regulates the sale of condoms,mycountrymart.com/toms, said one of the worrying aspects of the discovery was that the counterfeiting operation was very sophisticated. "The packets of fakes and the genuine packets look identical. So it would be very hard for an ordinary consumer to tell if they were handling fakes in a shop."
So how did the dodgy goods get into ordinary chemists? A wellknown Irish wholesale company Sandrelle, which is based in Ashbourne in Co Meath, has admitted that it supplied the bogus condoms to Irish shops. In a statement this week, the company insisted that it had bought the condoms in "good faith" from an established supplier in the UK.
While details of the supply chain are blurred once you go beyond Ireland, it is believed the condoms were made by a sophisticated counterfeiting operation in China, where there is an active trade in counterfeit condoms, and then sold on to the UK wholesaler.
Since the Irish discovery, boxes of fake condoms have also been discovered in UK pharmacies and shops leading to a recall of some Durex products in Britain. On Thursday Durex launched a nationwide appeal in Britain to track down the risky prophylactics.
Although the discovery of the counterfeits in Ireland was a first for Europe, Durex, like many other global businesses, has been consistently targeted by counterfeiters in Asia. Bogus condoms are also a major public health issue in Africa, because they are less effective in preventing the spread of AIDS.
Alarm bells began to ring among Durex employees in Britain a fortnight ago when a number of Irish customers began to complain about supplies that they had bought here. Although the boxes looked identical,mycountrymart.com/tory-burch, some of them came with foil wrappers, which were empty of condoms.
Noticing that the foil wrappers were slightly different to the normal Durex wrappers, the company decided to test the products in one of their English laboratories. Durex tests the quality of its condoms by filling them with water and checking for leaks, or by filling them with air to check their durability.
"These products were inferior," says Chris Bunniss, Group Marketing and Innovations Director for Durex. "We tested 315 of the fake condoms sold in Ireland, and eight of them failed our test. "
Normally only 0.25% of Durex condoms fail the rigorous tests by the manufacturers. In the case of the fakes, the failure rate was 10 times higher at 2.5%.
"We take this matter very seriously and are involved in a thorough investigation of the case," says Chris Bunniss. "It means tracing back forensically through the supply chain. We have taken successful prosecutions against counterfeiters before."
Until quite recently, counterfeiting scams have tended to focus on luxury goods such as Rolex watches, Vuitton luggage and Gucci handbags.
According to the special unit in the Irish Revenue that deals with fake branded goods, counterfeiters are now moving away from the luxury end of the market to fastselling everyday products including shampoo, razor blades and medicines. Even teabags, sun creams and washing powder have been found to be counterfeit.
The growing trade in fake medicines is perhaps the most worrying development. The Intellectual Property Rights Unit of the Irish Revenue estimates that up to 5% of all drugs sold globally are fake. In some countries, up to 70% of the medicines in circulation are counterfeit.
Viagra, the world's most popular antiimpotence drug, is frequently the target of counterfeiters. Although fake Viagra has not been found here, scientists in London who recently tested samples of the drug bought over the Internet found that a high proportion were counterfeit and did not contain the right ingredients.
In one case that recently came to light, a single supplier in China was found to be dealing in counterfeit Viagra, supplying over a quarter of a million pills a month. He had infiltrated nine European and Middle Eastern countries and 10 US states.
So how can Irish consumers know if they have real Durex? Apart from the batch numbers (see panel), Chris Bunniss of Durex says that, unlike the counterfeit condoms, the genuine articles do not give off a rubber odour. The foil packaging that wraps the fake condoms is also slightly flawed.
Niall Behan, chief executive of the Irish Family Planning Association, says: "People should make sure that they buy condoms from reputable suppliers. We would still want to promote safe sex. If people are having casual sex, they should still use condoms."