Brazil’s top food and agriculture regulator says it is considering legal action against Monsanto over its claim that masks worn by women are more harmful than wearing masks in the same way men wear masks.
The National Institute of Biotechnology and Agricultural Research (INB) said in a statement on Monday that the mask-wearing policies have no basis in science and have been proposed by Monsanto to achieve the objective of “protecting the health of women from harmful health effects of pesticides.”
The move comes amid a campaign by anti-pesticide activists to ban women from wearing masks, a practice that is not banned in Brazil.
In a recent poll conducted by the Brazilian National Institute for the Protection of Health, Environment and Development (INPE), 78 percent of respondents said that wearing masks is “very harmful.”
In addition, the poll found that 81 percent of women have worn masks in their lives, with the majority saying they have worn them in response to “emotional discomfort.”
“The mask-like mask-style mask is a way to hide a woman’s body from the world,” the statement reads.
“We do not consider women to be physically healthy, and therefore mask-type products are harmful.”
Monsantos claim masks are unsafe for women because they can mask their breathing.
However, a 2015 study found that women who wore masks for more than three hours a day had lower risk of heart attacks and stroke than those who wore the masks for less than 30 minutes a day.
“In the last five years, we have been doing some research to find out more about the actual health effects that mask wearing has on women and we have concluded that it is actually not harmful to wear a mask,” the company said.
“Monsan’s mask-related claims have been rejected in the scientific literature.”
Montaniha Senna, INPE’s director of research, said that the masks were not designed to prevent the spread of malaria, which is carried by mosquitoes.
She said that they also had no effect on the health or well-being of the women wearing them.
The statement comes after Brazil, which has a record of violence against women, has become a major focus for the campaign to end mask wearing.