Speaker Jomo Thomas concerned about “bleaching” in SVG

Photo by Gustaus Stevenson FB

Speaker of the House of Assembly Jomo Thaoms says that after 38 years of independence and four years since SVG has taken over the banner of Reparations, it troubles him that so many young people, men, and woman are engaging in the practice of “Bleaching”.

 Bleaching of the skin has become a controversial subject and one that certainly raises many questions and concerns.

 Also referred to as skin whitening or skin lightening, skin bleaching involves using chemicals to lighten up the tone of the skin.

Thomas speaking in Parliament on Tuesday 29th August said, people of African descent are not the only ones who bleach; “ it is stated that Japanese bleach, Indians and so, from a humanity standpoint that is important for us to know, but as someone who lives in St Vincent I am really concern about this”.

Thomas said he does not know what the government or the Ministry of Health thinks.

“The leader of this administration I don’t know his position or even the head of the opposition. However, it’s something that we ought to be paying serious attention to”.

The speaker noted that the trend of bleaching is a clearly a reflection of the proliferation of Euro – Centric ideas, issues of beauty and so forth, or what is acceptable in the world, but it is something he would like to see Vincentians think about.

In responding, Gonsalves said he agrees with the speak 100 percent.

“Well there is a view that it should be banned, but let’s talk about it,  as to see whether or not the bleaching should be banned”.

Gonsalves said the point about this issue of bleaching is that it goes beyond.

“For instance, if you ban the bleaching are you going to ban the hair pieces, I am asking, so that I raise the question, I was not expressing a view on it, am only stating that for when the discussion begins”.

Gonsalves said that he has his personal opinion, but as a policy maker, he can’t impose such on people. He said the matter that was raised by the speaker is deserving of consideration for further policy action.


  1. Black people have been brainwashed into thinking that their skin colour is inferior. Its sad that even in this 21st century, this mindset still burdens many of our people. I was fortunate to learn at an early age that “BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL”!

  2. I find it particularly laughable what Jomo Thomas had to say above! Jomo is more concerned about “Skin Bleaching” a product that highlights our psychological damage, one would agree. A product that should indeed be banned not only because of the chemicals in contains but also because it do promote an unacceptable concept.

    Jomo is more concerned it would appear about this skin bleaching product, more so, over and above that of “the one family dictatorship” that we suffer under, the sky high Taxes we have to endure, rampant poverty, glaring nepotism and crony capitalism, non-accountability to us, the “smoke and mirrors” scamming dishonesty that we as a people have had put up with over the years, some of which is taking place under his very stewardship of the Parliament.

    Poor Jomo he had lost his teeth, voice and what little credibility he ever had, before he turned his coat, and teemed up with oppression.

    Perhaps this is his way of finding a way back. His “Road to Damascus moment!” Perhaps “conscience” is getting the better of the man. Like Judas, moral sense may be, belatedly, is tugging at his inner self.

  3. What the sale and use of this skin whitening product says about us Vincentians is that we are a thoroughly damaged people! A white skin is a passport to a better life in SVG and the people know this!

    Ghana, the UK, the Ivory Cost and India to my knowledge have banned the sale of the product however, it could still be bought under the counter and off the internet.

    If our Government was truly concerned about the health of the Vincentian people there would no hesitation about banning these products, as there are overwhelming evidence as to the damage to health they cause, ranging from Diabetes, white spots, acne to cancer and high blood pressure.

    Nevertheless, the risk of those ailments are not enough to overcome the desire for a lighter skin. The years of self-hatred and European disdain have produced such psychological damage in users, that it would appear that those using the products are quite willing to risk their good health to be more acceptable.

  4. Skin bleaching is just a metaphor for political bleaching since we, in SVG, have the whitest PM in the Caribbean, a man supported 100 percent by Jomo ‘Thomas, the biggest political whore our country has ever seen.

  5. Here is a thing! The Prime Minister is asking the question “If you ban the bleaching are you going to ban the hair pieces”? These two things are not in any way equivalent for goodness sake!

    The World Health Organisation have banned the use of Hydroquinone, a derivative of Benzene and is a principal ingredient of these Skin bleaching products. This chemical is the cause of much harm, especially in the Caribbean where we have much sun, as it inhibits the production of Melanin which gives skin its colour.

    Melanin is vital to protect the skin against UV Radiation and the loss of Melanin causes the body to produce even more Melanin, resulting in premature aging and can further cause NEUROPATHY (a disease of the nervous system). Further it can damage the Liver and also increases the risk of Skin Cancer. Hydroquinone have been banned Europe wide since 2001. Such a ban surely should be a wake-up call to our Prime Minister if he had an interest in the health of Vincentians.

    As well as Hydroquinone these products contains MERCURY and STEROIDS! If the W.H.O is so alarmed about the use of Hydroquinone on health grounds so as to ban its use, why is the Prime Mister of SVG so casual about it, equating it with hair pieces?

    The use of Mercury in these products also presents further health risks to Vincentians using them. Mercury is a very toxic substance and accumulates in the body of the user, damaging the Kidneys, Liver and Brain of users, further causing a multitude of other health problems in the body, particularly in Pregnant women.

    Pregnant women may find that their unborn suffers abnormalities. Mercury is so toxic it has been banned for the use in consumer cosmetic products as long ago as 1996, some 21 years ago, yet Gonsalves could be so blase and indifferent about its use in the products on the shelves in SVG. How reckless and irresponsible could a Prime Minister be towards the health of a Nation!

    Steroids to are prohibited for use in consumer products. Prolong use of steroids can affect the body’s hormones. The misuse of Steroids in this way in consumer products results in Skin thinning, stretch marks on the skin, bruising of Veins, broken Veins, also the skin condition know as Eczema, psoriasis, acnes, sores and boils.

    These cocktail of harmful chemicals should send all forms of alarm bells ringing in the head of the prime Minister of SVG if he was in any way concerned about the good health of Vincentians. But No! He ask should we ban the hair piece as well?

  6. Okay, if I read this article well, Jomo is very concerned about “bleaching”. Where’s the concern about drugs and other major STD’s that’s rampant in SVG?

  7. Concern about Drugs K.C? Well, as to this gang, the street tells the story! There’s much money in them there stuff, so no need to grow the economy at all! And STD, that’s another story all together.

    Jomo’s concern for Vincentians health is akin to the pusher-man for his addict user and as to the ULP leadership and our health, you have your answer in Parliament from the P.M.

  8. Mr. Thomas, I can see you are a real communist or socialist, what ever you want to call yourself. I thought St. Vincent was a free and democratic society where its citizens are free to make choices. Who gave you the right to determine what is appropriate for the individual.
    There are more important things , such as better health care ,schooling and the need to make certain that its citizens are paid for honest work. why don’t you take some time and look into that matter where many so call employers are cheating their employees. may I suggest you do a call in program on the radio station (s) and hear the cries of the people.

  9. I have no liking for the hypocrisy of the man Jomo neither Slater, who is no friend of the people, though in the past, he has pretended to be such, but even freedom Slater, has its limitations, even in a democratic society!

    We are indeed free to harm ourselves but if and when the harm we cause to ourselves creates problems for a National Health System, then curtailing the right or opportunity to harmful things and the ability for us to harm ourselves, has to be truly a good.

    We in a democratic society already curtail the access and sale of poisons, explosives, Guns, Swords and certain harmful chemicals and so we should. Controlling the sale of a harmful product such as these Skin whitening products that is the source of so much ailments, surely has to be a good thing.

    However, as to why our government would appear to be so neutral on their sale in SVG when so many governments around the world have banned then, one just have to as always follow the money. To follow the money, we must first have to ask the question, who imports these products?

  10. It is amazing how tone deaf the “so called” leaders are; failing to address the issues that affect folks on a daily basis.Here we have the Speaker of the House commenting on personal decisions to bleach…He might be well advised to pay special attention to an island riddled with crime; a higher per capita crime rate vs.jobs created. These leaders seem oblivious to a known fact: Crime affects potential visitors perceptions of the island! With tourism becoming a much needed revenue driver, crime is one the many challenges that requires nothing short of laser like focus! And the sad part of this dilemma is, the ones who need to show leadership,have been MIA. Need I say:Ostrichitis!

  11. No Vere, there is no need for the police to enter every house and bedroom to see who is bleaching, we just need to do what other nations in the circumstance have done, and just ban the importation and sale of this most harmful product. Simple!

    However, as there is much money to be made in our harming ourselves this way, these products will continue to be made by unscrupulous companies, largely in the lawless African states and be imported in very large quantities into this country.

    As to who benefits? Well follow the money and just listen to our Prime Minister, you can hazard a guess!

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