Brazil's Condoms Go Tropical

Rainforest rubber trees will help nation ween itself off foreign producers
By Becky Dalzell,  Newser User
Posted Apr 8, 2008 6:55 PM CDT
This image released in Brasilia, March 25, 2008, by the Health Ministry shows a poster to be used in an AIDS-prevention campaign in Brazil.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Brazil buys more condoms and boasts more rainforest than any other country; now officials hope to connect the dots, the BBC reports. The government will use rubber from Amazon trees to make 100 million condoms a year, given out freely as part of the country's anti-AIDS program. Rubber can be obtained without destroying trees and is widely available.

The new effort will reduce foreign imports of contraceptives, as even the latex will be Brazilian, harvested in the tropical forest of the Chico Mendes reserve. The health ministry says the plan will help preserve the rainforest while supporting local residents; the factory will employ 150 workers.