Shortage of tampons in Argentina leads to blame game between government and importers

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Tampons are displayed on a shelf at a drug store in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015. A shortage of tampons in several Argentine cities led to finger-pointing Wednesday, with the government insinuating it was a strategy by importers ... to jack up prices while companies blamed stifling bureaucracy. The shelves in pharmacies and supermarkets have even been empty in some coastal areas where tourists flock during the warm summer months. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko) (The Associated Press)

Women in Argentina are having a hard time finding tampons, part of a shortage of hygiene products that officials suggest is being orchestrated by businesses to raise prices.

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But import companies say the blame belongs to the government, which tightly controls foreign products and currency rates.

Store shelves that normally stock tampons have been stripped bare in some coastal areas where tourists flock during South America's warm summer months. In recent days, Twitter has exploded with jokes and complaints about the shortage.

Currency and import controls, combined with high inflation, have led to periodic product shortages in recent years. In addition to tampons, some report that it's now hard to find adult diapers or children's swim diapers.