Condom Warning Label Bill Withdrawn by Sponsor
A proposal that would have required condoms sold in California to include "tough new warning labels" has been withdrawn from consideration in the Legislature by its author, Sen. Jim Battin (R-La Quinta), the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill would require labels warning that condoms are not totally effective in preventing human papillomavirus, the most common STD in the United States, where it affects nearly 20 million people. Battin pulled the bill after it had already passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate, "so he could try to address concerns raised by opponents on the Assembly Health Committee." According to the Times, the bill, which would have made California the first state to enact tougher labeling requirements than those of the FDA, has started an "ideological and medical" argument over the effectiveness of condoms. Battin said he was trying to "ensure truth in labeling," while the bill's critics called the bill a "stealth attempt by conservatives to promote abstinence" over safe sex. Last month, NIH released a report that said more studies are needed to determine condoms' effectiveness against STDs other than HIV and gonorrhea. Assembly member Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) said that a warning label for HPV "would complicate efforts to fight HIV," adding that even without labels, people are practicing unprotected sex because they are "bored" with condoms. The Times reports that Assembly debate over the bill will be postponed until next year (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 8/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.