Australian consumers join call for global treaty to address major health risks

The Consumers’ Federation of Australia has come out in support of an international campaign for a global convention to protect and promote healthy diets ahead of World Consumer Rights Day on March 15.

According to Consumers International, the global voice for consumers, the impact from obesity alone is roughly equivalent to that of smoking or armed violence, war and terrorism.

“Helping Consumers Choose Healthy Diets” is this year’s theme for World Consumer Rights Day.

The convention proposed by Consumers International would commit the World Health Organization member states to endorsing a framework of policies to define, promote and protect healthy diets and healthy food.


Jo Benvenuti, Chair of the Consumers’ Federation of Australia, said that the Australian consumer movement strongly supports the nutritional theme of this year’s Consumer Rights Day, however more can be done.

“Healthy diets are based on access to information on shopping choices. Consumers need to be aware of the potential impact or benefits of grocery choices as they are shopping, and CFA calls on both government and industry to facilitate this,” Ms Benvenuti said.

Consumers International has chosen this year’s theme to reflect the major problems that poor diet causes in both developed and developing countries, such as cardio vascular diseases and diabetes.

The Consumers Federation of Australia is a member of Consumers International.

For more information about WCRD and to join Consumers International’s #FoodTreatyNow campaign click here.

World consumer Rights Day recognises Kennedy speech as pivotal moment in consumer movement

WCRD is held each year on the anniversary of John F Kennedy’s 1962 speech which led to the creation of the US Consumer Bill of Rights.

While the original bill contained four rights, these have since been expanded to eight entitlements to protect the consumer:

  • Satisfaction of basic needs – to have access to basic, essential goods and services: adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, education, public utilities, water and sanitation
  • Safety – to be protected against products, production processes and services which are hazardous to health or life
  • Information – to be given the facts needed to make an informed choice, and to be protected against dishonest or misleading advertising and labelling.
  • Choice – to be able to select from a range of products and services, offered at competitive prices with an assurance of satisfactory quality
  • To be heard – to have consumer interests represented in the making and execution of government policy, and in the development of products and services.
  • Redress – to receive a fair settlement of just claims, including compensation for misrepresentation, shoddy goods or unsatisfactory services.
  • Consumer education – to acquire knowledge and skills needed to make informed, confident choices about goods and services, while being aware of basic consumer rights and responsibilities and how to act on them.
  • A healthy environment  – to live and work in an environment that is non-threatening to the well being of present and future generations.

(Source: Consumers International)


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