• Germany's news in English
 

Greens call for action on 'toxic' dildos

Published: 01 Jul 2011 16:56 GMT+02:00

Ten Greens Bundestag members recently submitted an inquiry to the government, titled, “Sexual health as a consumer protection issue.”

“Many dildos, and other sex toys like vibrators and anal plugs, contain high levels of phthalates, other carcinogenic substances and toxic materials.”

According to the website of news magazine Der Spiegel, the government has now answered, though using more prudish terminology than that used by their racier Bundestag colleagues in the Greens.

Phthalates are a class of plasticisers – substances that are added to plastic to increase its flexibility and durability.

Some of these substances were suspected of causing disturbances to hormone balances and to infertility, diabetes and obesity, the Greens MPs said in their written inquiry. The hormonal balances of unborn children could also be disturbed. Absorption through mucus membranes was a danger.

The Greens see these dangers as a broad social issue, given the widespread use of sex toys. Certain children’s toys would not be approved for sale if they contained even small amounts of such plasticisers, yet a 2006 study had found that some sex toys contained up to 58 percent plasticisers, the MPs said.

This 2006 test by consumer magazine Ökotest found that “nearly half of all vibrators investigated were bristling with toxic substances and therefore failed to reach the lowest test grade of inadequate.”

The Greens demanded a response from the government as to what limits would be considered acceptable and what would require a product to be banned.

The government has now responded with a six-page answer full of dense legal and consumer jargon – and some considerably more delicate language, according to Der Spiegel.

Where the Greens referred in their inquiry to “sex toys,” the parliamentary State Secretary for Consumer Protection, Gerd Müller, replied with reference to “erotic items.” The terms dildo, vibrator and, most definitely anal plug, were not contained in the answer.

The conclusion, in short, was that the government sees no need for action.

The Local

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:12 July 1, 2011 by Englishted
If the greens used anal plugs nobody would ear them as they talk through their

arses most of the time as this article proves.

For our American friends arse= ass.
20:00 July 1, 2011 by StoutViking
As the Greens are the largest consumers of dildos and buttplugs, I can see why they'd make it such an urgent matter on their agenda.
20:13 July 1, 2011 by Landmine
Is this what this party worries about? Unbelievable give the world as it is this day an age.
23:59 July 1, 2011 by krautrock
Wich member of the Government investigated on the topic? And how?
00:15 July 2, 2011 by slawek
The obvious practical solution is to use condoms of course, which is a good idea anyway. At least it should be forbidden to sell products containing plasticisers as hygienic articles, with the consequence that you can send them back. This would prove more effective for any kind of article rather than a specific ban on sex toys.
01:48 July 2, 2011 by iseedaftpeople
now that's what I call being anal about dildoes and butt plugs...

(sorry, feeble lame late-night attempt at humor)

you know, in a way, I can buy it more when the Catholic Church says condoms and sex toys are sin and devil's work... at least there's a clear-cut ethos behind that, however inane and anachronistic... but these Green Party goofballs are just silly. OK so it's probably not conducive to your good health to put things in your anal or vaginal cavity that contain all these substances... but I would imagine you would actually have to cut up and eat one of those little pleasure bringers to suffer any kind of toxic effects. And in lieu of a good old butt-plug, those Green Party jackasses can just shove all their rhethoric up their...ahem... behinds...
03:54 July 2, 2011 by JBlooze
Wow I can't believe that everyone here somehow thinks it's ok for products that people use can be sold when they are full of toxins. As for iseedaftpeople, if they couldn't release toxins the way they were, why do they not allow it for kids toys at anywhere near these levels? Why is it bad for someone in the government to be bringing this to people's attention? This IS a health problem and if it can affect the hormone balances in women and their children I guess you guys all think that's ok too. Unbelievable that you would take this as a reason to bash a political party that you clearly don't agree with. Should no-one know about it, or do anything about it? Thousands of people buy and use these products and I know they aren't all Greens and there's more than a few Brits plugging their arses Englishted. They should be able to do so with the assumption that because it is allowed to be sold, it should be safe. This IS a question of government regulation and to just trash the concept that someone is paying attention to the problem because your sphincters are way too tight for even the smallest butt plug is stupid and ignorant. There's lots of room to pay attention to more than one problem at a time and just by bringing attention to it they are probably informing lots of people to be more aware of potential health problems. But we wouldn't want that would we? Because it's the Greens. Grow up.
08:25 July 2, 2011 by The-ex-pat
Well in the words of, General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett ,...... "Well bugger me with a fish fork"....a metal one of course....
13:19 July 2, 2011 by ron1amr
Every product should be regulated with information about the item. David Suzuki said if the Government took care of environmental issues anywhere in the world, Greens would be non existent. But this is not the case and Greens are gaining popularity world wide with more people awareness on any issue. And we need to do this to educate and raise concerns on anything that could be detrimental to our health or environment.
13:31 July 2, 2011 by Gretl
I agree with Slawek - The problem is nobody in Germany is getting laid. Use a condom and get to know someone. Toys are for loners or people who can't get there without assistance.
15:33 July 2, 2011 by Englishted
@JBlooze

"there's more than a few Brits plugging their arses "

Then I bow (not literally) experience you must have looked into it more than I have or will.
13:28 July 3, 2011 by StoutViking
Doesn't anyone get the point in this? In some countries people are worried about toxic plastics in food containers, baby bottles and pacifiers. In Germany, where the population doesn't even replace itself, a political party stands out to cry about toxins in SEX TOYS! It's not only ridiculous and profound, but it shows their true aim: to abolish sex as a means of reproduction and/or bonding between two people (regardless the sex), but to turn it into a selfish act of self-gratification, and making it the center of one's existance.

Come on, we're talking about people who think Germans have "a Nazi gene and shouldn't have kids". Makes sense to why they advocate inanimate objects as sex partners...
12:24 July 4, 2011 by ValP
"This 2006 test by consumer magazine íkotest found that ..."

.... can't help imagining the specifics of the testing procedure.....
13:46 July 4, 2011 by n230099
If it's plastic it's not safe. Stick with stainless steel or glass especially for objects where food is involved. There are no "safe' plastics for food. But for the purposes here...who knows.
10:54 August 20, 2012 by myroona
There are plenty of alternatives to cheap plastic and latex dildos. Medical-grade silicone dildos, hard plastic dildos, steel dildos, glass dildos and ceramic dildos are all phthalate free, and unlike plastic and latex dildos they are non-porous and can be sterilized. None of these are hard to find, and if you go to any sex shop or website, they should be able to tell youbuy dildoswhich dildos are phthalate free. Your biggest tip off, though, is that strong plastic smell that cheap dildos have; phthalate-free dildos should be odorless.
Today's headlines
Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'
Sudeten Germans practising traditional dance at a gathering in 2014. Photo: DPA

Sudeten Germans give up 'right to homeland'

The Sudeten German Homeland Association has given up its claim to the group's former home in parts of the Czech Republic, quieting one of the final echoes of the Second World War. READ  

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan
Families Minister Manuela Schwesig. Photo: DPA

Minister draws fire over wage transparency plan

Families Minister Manuela Schwesig confirmed on Sunday that she wants a new law allowing women to compare their wages with men doing similar work, provoking angry reactions from employers. READ  

Police wind down Bremen terror response
Heavily-armed police on patrol outside Bremen cathedral. Photo: DPA

Police wind down Bremen terror response

Police in Bremen said that the risk of a terrorist attack had been reduced in the city after they arrested two suspected arms dealers. The city remains under high alert, with special protection for the Jewish community. READ  

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone
Photo: DPA

Germany's Schäuble softens Greece tone

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Sunday Greece's new hard-left government needs "a bit of time" but is committed to implementing necessary reforms to resolve its debt crisis. READ  

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo
Photo: DPA

UK Pegida rally dwarfed by counter-demo

An estimated 375 people turned out for the Germany-based PEGIDA movement's first demonstration in Britain on Saturday, but were outnumbered by a 2,000-strong crowd of counter-protesters, police said. READ  

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote
Photo: DPA

Greek PM vows to 'start working hard' after vote

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras vowed Friday to "start working hard" to implement vital reforms in the stricken eurozone country, after Germany's parliament approved a four month extension to its bailout. READ  

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce
Photo: DPA

Ukraine: troop deaths 'serious breach' of truce

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko declared the killing of three government troops by pro Moscow rebels a "serious breach of the ceasefire", during a telephone call Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, her office said. READ  

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps
Trouble at the top. Photo: DPA

Man wins court battle over loud footsteps

Germany's highest civil court ruled in favour of a man who swapped the carpet in his new apartment for parquet flooring, incurring the wrath of the retired couple who lived below him over his loud footsteps. READ  

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday
Photo: DPA

Teachers to strike nationwide from Monday

Teachers all over the country are expected to stike starting Monday, German education trade union GEW said, after negotiations with the wage commission of the federal states (TdL) failed to achieve results. READ  

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes
Andre Shepherd at the European Court of Justice in June 2014. Photo: DPA

EU court deals blow to US Iraq objector's hopes

American soldier Andre Shepherd, who applied for asylum in Germany as a conscientious objector against the war in Iraq after going AWOL from his unit, saw a judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) go against him on Thursday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,199
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd