• 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
Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
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

7,252
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd