By Chris Versace –
As Halloween approaches, nearly every mainstream media outlet has reported on the dangers of purchasing black market color contacts for costume parties. These warnings come for good reason — over the past few weeks, approximately 100,000 pairs of “counterfeit, illegal and unapproved contact lenses” have been seized thanks to an FDA-led mission called Operation Double Vision.
While the FDA’s campaign is certainly laudable, crony eye doctors are using this disturbing news hook as an opportunity to incite fear mongering, stopping people from purchasing lenses from licensed third-party vendors altogether.
Of course, consumers should take care of their eyes, and no one should purchase contact lenses from shady sources on the black market. But eye doctors are trying to convince their patients that purchasing lenses from anywhere but doctors’ offices – meaning from Costco, 1-800 Contacts, and the like — poses a health risk.
As you can imagine, this is simply not true.
The problem is eye doctors are still licking their wounds from the Republican-controlled Congress’ 2004 legislation, The Fairness in Contact Lens Consumers Act (FCLCA), which opened up the contact lens industry to free market competition for the first time.