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Sneering MPs insult the issue and insult women

17 June, 2004

Sneering MPs insult the issue and insult women

Green MP Sue Kedgley said today the sneering of male politicians in the House yesterday at proposals to introduce cosmetic regulations and mandatory labelling was a classic example of the trivialisation of women's issues by male MP's.

Ms Kedgley came in for a barrage of insults during Question Time in Parliament, over her efforts to raise awareness about the possible health risks to women that have been raised in connection with some cosmetics. "Frankly it was offensive to listen their patronising comments about a serious women's health issue -especially when a close personal friend of mine almost died from a severe allergic reaction to a hair dye last year," said Ms Kedgley.

Ms Kedgley said the real issue was why we in New Zealand do not already have cosmetic regulations and mandatory labelling of cosmetic products - as other countries like Australia, the US and Europe already have in place.

"Whatever we put on our skin finds its way directly into our body, so we need to be sure there are no chemicals in them that could be harmful to human health."

Ms Kedgley said regulations were needed for the vast range of cosmetic products used in New Zealand such as shampoos, deodorants and moisturisers.

"Most nations already have proper regulations and mandatory labelling of cosmetics. Do these male MP's believe that New Zealand women are less worthy of protection than women in Australia, the US and the EU?

Ms Kedgley said one in nine New Zealand women developed breast cancer and it was therefore crucial that we protected women from chemicals like parabens that mimic the hormone oestrogen and accumulate in breast tissue.

"There's no point spending millions of dollars on cancer detection and treatment if we are not doing everything in our power to reduce the causes of breast cancer," said Ms Kedgley.

ENDS

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