To the FDA Regarding Mama Cloth

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For those who are unaware of the term mama cloth, it refers to reusable menstrual pads made of fabric. Many women choose mama cloth because it is free from harsh chemicals and more comfortable to wear. In December of 2014, the Food & Drug Association decided to enforce registration of these items, even those made by work at home moms if they intended to sell them.

This registration costs the maker thousands of dollars each year. While those prices may be a drop in the bucket for large manufacturing companies, the small mom and pops can’t afford the price tag and are being forced to stop making mama cloth. Since most women purchase their mama cloth from small mom and pop stores or WAHMs, they are angry. They have every right to be.

A humorous look into why the FDA has decided to crack down on mama cloth manufacturers. They must have a good reason for regulating these items, right?

Dear FDA,

There has been a lot of talk about you on the internet lately. Your enforcement of the regulation stating that menstrual cloths are a medical device really has a lot of ladies with their panties in a twist. You see, you’ve had this regulation on the books for a while now, updating it to include mama cloth, a reusable menstrual cloth product, back in April of this year. Now all of a sudden you are telling work-at-home-moms to fork over the fees and putting small business owners out of business.

I’m sure you must have a very good reason for your actions. You always do. It must be that you want to protect the users of these products. There must be all sorts of terms that must be met in the name of safety. Oh, you don’t? Okay, so they can be made in any fashion with any materials and that’s fine. So what is your reason for this regulation? Why do the makers have to pay out almost $4,000 a year to make and sell mama cloth?

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In the event of National Crisis we need to be able to locate these devices.

For the record, FDA, we ladies are pretty savvy. If there were a national crisis, I’m sure we could come up with some pretty nifty ways to keep aunt flo at bay. An unregulated tee-shirt would probably do the trick. Or, as we’ve all had to do at some time in our menstrual lives, toilet paper comes in handy. No one is lining up at the menstrual pad tent when FEMA comes. We tend to be a bit more focused on food and shelter.

Well, maybe you are cracking the whip with all things that could be deemed medical devices. I’m sure you are strictly regulating the manufacturing and sales of things like anesthesiology devices, cardiovascular devices, and surgical devices. These are things that actually go inside out bodies. No? So let me just get this straight: You have absolutely no good reason to be putting hardworking individuals out of work. You have no justification for crushing the little guy. You are so busy regulating things that don’t need to be regulated that you don’t give a damn about products that should be regulated. Shame on you FDA. Maybe you should just stay out of our underpants.

Signed,
The Ladies

The Regulations for Menstrual Products

I want everyone to take a look at the regulations for these products. Section 5 is especially interesting. To sum it up, they don’t tell you what is required. They recommend you tell people what your product consists of and what it will do. You know what I feel is the real kicker here? Small business owners and WAHMs rarely have anything to hide. They tend to be pretty transparent when it comes to materials and engineering of their products. It’s the big-name corporations that hide the fact that their tampons contain pyridine (a carcinogen) and their pads contain chloroform (a carcinogen, reproductive toxicant and neurotoxin).

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We The People currently has a petition out asking the FDA to lower or eliminate the regulation fees associated with mama cloth. If you are interested in signing, you can do so here.

Items exempt from Medical Device regulations.

A humorous look into why the FDA has decided to crack down on mama cloth manufacturers. They must have a good reason for regulating these items, right?

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I am a non-traditional homesteader. What is a non-traditional homesteader? I'd like to think we are the people who don't fit the mold. I am a busy mom on a small bit of property with not a lot of financial resources, but I am figuring out how to live the life I want. A homesteader's life.

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About Jessica Lane

I am a non-traditional homesteader. What is a non-traditional homesteader? I'd like to think we are the people who don't fit the mold. I am a busy mom on a small bit of property with not a lot of financial resources, but I am figuring out how to live the life I want. A homesteader's life.

Comments

To the FDA Regarding Mama Cloth — 19 Comments

  1. KUDOS! Love this! If the mama cloths are considered medical devices, then perhaps women need to obtain a prescription from their doctors and file an insurance claim. Afterall, I believe they would fall under “durable devices”. Just sayin’! LOL! Great post, Jessica!

  2. My question is this…..after “locating the devices in an emergency situation” what in the hell are they going to do? Wast valuable resources collecting them?……Used menstral pads?! Then of course, they’d have to go looking for the agents they sent out to collect from the women who are USING them in an emergency situation, because obviously the person who comes up to a an already stressed woman looking for any uncertified menstral pads will be minus one head from shoulders or cowering in an alley after being bitch slapped by the red hulk that lives in all of us and emerges once a month.

  3. Do you know where I can get some cloth pads inexpensively to start out with? I want to switch, however, I’d like to be able to use my own money (I’m just a teen). I’d like to make the switch as inexpensive as possible, as my mother is kind of tired of my “organic-food-hippie” tendencies and I don’t want to give her anything to complain about.:) If you have a post on this I haven’t found yet please direct me to it. Thank you!

    • Etsy is a great resource that has everything from an economical to extravagant price point. Another good option might be making your own. There are hundreds of free patterns online, many of which use materials you might already have laying around. If you go with the DIY option, thrift stores are a great source for inexpensive fabrics.

      PS: Way to go for forging your own healthy path 🙂

  4. This just blows my mind and is another reason I BELIEVE. that FDA stands for food and death administration. Look at all the stuff they approve that kills millions each year.

  5. What a shame, unfortunately it seems it’s more about a plan to protect the big businesses who give the FDA so much money to get their items cleared. And the $4000 sounds like a payoff for them to look the other way. Boo on the FDA

  6. This was epic. Love it! I don’t use mama cloth, I use a menstrual cup, but I have two daughters who will definitely be starting off with mama cloth. Keep those toxins away from my kids, please and thank you! By the that time I’ll probably have to make them myself, thanks to this regulation. So frustrating, stay out of our way FDA!

  7. I’m ordering as many as I can afford right now but I have four daughters. I think I’m gonna have to learn to sew these myself. Argh!

  8. It is probably more to do with the fact that commercial menstrual pads and tampons cause cancer, cramping, endometriosis, and other reproductive problems but cloth pads and keeper cups don’t. Since mamma cloths actually prevent cancer they are taking money away from Big Pharma for Chemo and radiation sales so affect long term profits. The presidents reports from a couple years ago stated that 1 out of every 2 adults in the US will be diagnosed with cancer within a year. How can they possibly meet this GOAL if women are wise and get the toxic “devices” out of their lives by moving to the more healthy mamma cloths.

    • “How can they possibly meet this GOAL if women are wise and get the toxic “devices” out of their lives by moving to the more healthy mamma cloths.” I love that Chris. It’s sad that that seems to be the truth.

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