Teri Ann Renee Paisley, Gleaner Online Writer
Something as elemental as selecting a brand of tissue has always struck me as a simple choice. I routinely chose the cheaper brand without much deliberation. After all, its basically the same product designed to fulfill a necessary function.
The thought of reading the label to decide whether it was local or imported never really crossed my mind. I also never considered that there might be anything sinister lurking between its sheets.
It might have never crossed my mind but the trailblazing Sunday Gleaner, was the first to question the quality of imported tissues in its article ‘Shoddy imported tissue raises stink‘, dated February 3, 2013. I followed the story with avid interest.
It seemed unbelievable that companies would dump toxic products on us without any regard for how it would affect our island.
Not only were consumers health at risk they were being shortchanged as manufacturers of imported tissue had sheet counts of 200 – 240 while manufacturers in Jamaica have to include 300 sheets.
Since the article was published there has been a great deal of local outcry about the potential of danger for consumers. However, there was always a risk that the issue would be regulated to just the rantings of a few.So imagine my relief at reading the headline in the Sunday Gleaner dated March 24, 2013. that read, ‘Tests prove unsafe tissue here‘.
The focus being given to the issue will ensure it is given the attention it deserves by all those concerned. This is a serious turn of affairs as tissues are used for various purposes and we might be inadvertently spreading diseases.
What makes matters worse is that although the contaminated tissues were rejected and sent back the article states, ‘insiders say it is feared that some exporters are changing the brand names on tissues whenever they are rejected by local authorities.’
So how can consumers protect themselves? One thing I know I will be doing is ‘Buying Jamaican’.
It certainly makes sense as it would support our local economy as well as protect our well being!
Let me hear your thoughts on the issue!