Lawmaker Says New Data Show Condom Labels Should Not Be Changed
August 10, 2005
Data from a new study show that condoms offer protection against human papillomavirus, and thus condom labels do not need to be changed to warn of the risk of HPV, according to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) The congressional newsletter CQ HealthBeat reported that Waxman wrote to Lester Crawford, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, referencing a study presented last month at the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research in Amsterdam.
"The new study, combined with previous evidence, seriously undermines the call by some conservative organizations and lawmakers for labeling that warns consumers that condoms do not protect against HPV," Waxman's letter said.
The study, which tracked 200 female university students for 22 months, concluded that those who used condoms for every sexual encounter were 70 percent less likely to contract HPV than those who seldom or never used them.
But some Republicans dismissed Waxman's assertion, saying ample evidence demonstrates that condoms fail to offer significant protection against HPV and some other STDs. John Hart, a spokesperson for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), said, "This is a debate Congressman Waxman lost five years ago when President Clinton signed a bill into law requiring the FDA to come up with a medically accurate condom label." Previously, Coburn had delayed Crawford's appointment as FDA chief over concerns the agency was not moving rapidly enough to change the labels.