Skin cancer in NZ by Susan Grimsdell

We all know that skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in New Zealand, and that we have the highest incidence of melanoma – the worst, most deadly kind of cancer – in the whole world. We slip slap slop on ourselves and our children, we use the top level of SPF, renewing it every two or three hours, as per instructions.  We do our best to protect ourselves and our families.

Sunscreen fraudster

Slip slap slop undermined

However, what we didn’t know was that there is a man in the USA, Gabriel Letizia Jr, who has become very wealthy over a period of 30 years, by consistently defrauding us and all his other customers.  He’s the owner and director of AMA Laboratories, that tests consumer products including sunscreens.  The results of his tests have been taken on faith worldwide.

But it has now been revealed that over all those years he, along with senior staff, has been falsifying the results of those tests.   When you thought you were buying an SPF 50 suncream, it wasn’t SPF 50 at all.  Who knows what it really was, but somehow I suspect that our incredibly high rate of skin cancer is evidence that it was probably very much less than that.  For all we know, there was no sun protection in it at all – perhaps it was no better than cold cream or baby oil. 

Let the punishment fit the crime

Crime and punishment

This man has pleaded guilty to his years of deception and faces up to 7 years in prison.  The $63 million he gained by this fraud will help him hire the best lawyers to make sure he will in fact avoid prison with appeals and other legal manoeuvres for many years to come, while enjoying life, out on bail, in his comfortable mansions. 

Meanwhile we and, of course, people in countries worldwide continue to suffer the effects of skin cancer on ourselves and our children.

2 Comments on “Skin cancer in NZ by Susan Grimsdell

  1. We will find one day that it itself may have caused the skin cancer. How can you blame the sun on skin cancer when it often appears under the foot . We have forgotten our bodies need the sun,purely .Big pharma supplies.NZ CANCER SOCIETY is partially funded by the makers of sunscreen
    Go figure!

    • Thanks for your comment Paul. You make an interesting point about a possible cause of skin cancer. My concern was the proven fraud and deliberate deception in the testing of sun screens which it seems to me is a separate issue.

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