Monday, October 27, 2008

US-Consumer's News; COOL new food labels display country of origin

Going grocery shopping today? You may notice a change in your supermarket’s meat aisle. As of September 30, 2008, federal law requires fresh meat, poultry, fish, fruits and vegetables, peanuts and certain nuts to display a label that tells you the country of origin (COOL) of the product.

Mandatory COOL for meats, fish, produce, and peanuts became law in the U.S. in 2002, but industry pressured Congress to delay implementation for everything but seafood until now.
As reported on our Health blog, COOL's full implementation is a big step forward for food safety-conscious people. A Consumer Reports poll released last year found that 92 percent of Americans agree that imported foods should be labeled by their country of origin.

"This is a long-awaited change and we think it will be a great benefit for consumers," said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. "If a food safety problem is identified in a particular imported product, as happened with jalapeƱo and serrano peppers from Mexico earlier this year, then consumers will be able to avoid that product."

"On the other hand," Halloran adds. "Some people like to buy certain imported products, like New Zealand lamb or Holland tomatoes. Still others just want to buy local produce. Either way, the new labels will give consumers important new information."

There are exemptions, however, which concern Consumers Union. Meat, poultry, and fish sold in small markets don’t have to be labeled, nor do processed foods such as imported ham or roasted peanuts, or mixtures, such as frozen vegetables or trail mix. Here's a guide to the new rules that you can print out and take to the supermarket.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Education for Sustainable Consumption

Dear activists;
Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society in collaboration with Consumer International will have what is called Consumer Action Day 2008 takes place on 15 October.2008. It will serve as the culmination of member lobbying and advocacy work for the adoption of Education for Sustainable Consumption Guidelines such as:

1. Ensure that education institutions reflect in their daily management the priorities given to sustainable development
2. Include themes, topics, modules, courses and degrees about education for sustainable consumption in established curriculum.
3. Encourage research in education for sustainable consumption related areas.
4. Strengthen connections between researchers, lecturers, teacher trainers, socioeconomic actors and stakeholders.
5. Enhance cooperation between professionals from diverse disciplines in order to develop integrated approaches to education for sustainable consumption.
6. Facilitate teaching and teacher training, which strengthens global, future oriented, constructive perspectives within education for sustainable consumption.
7. Reward creative, critical, innovative thinking related to education for sustainable consumption.
8. Ensure that education for sustainable consumption respects the importance of indigenous knowledge and recognizes alternative lifestyles.
9. Foster intergenerational learning as an integrated aspect of education for sustainable consumption.
10. Provide opportunities for practical application of theoretical study through social involvement and community service.

The aim of this day (15th.Oct.2008) is to draw attention to the importance of Education for Sustainable Consumption and the Guidelines. Moreover, it gives ministers the opportunity to publicly voice their support for the adoption of the Guidelines on national level as part of formal education in the national curricula and on international level as part of 10YFP.

What are Consumers International (CI) members doing?
CI members are involved in different activities and programmes concerning education on sustainable consumption and consumer education. Links to active members’ websites will be made available from CI website once they have taken tangible action towards ensuring the adoption of the Guidelines.

Why I'm setting this message to this blog?
I'm setting this to your attention to share some ideas on Consumer Action Day and if possible you are encouraged to send emails asking for support to the ministers of education and environment and also to UNEP and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN/DESA) in support of the guidelines.

Minister for Higher Education, Science and Technology,
Jamhuri Street, Plot No. 1168/19,
P.O Box 2645
Dar es Salaam –
Tel: +255 22 2111254, Fax: +255 22 2112533

Mrs. Sylvie Lemmet
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
15, rue de Milan
75009 Paris
Mr. Sha Zukang
UN Department of Social and Economic Affairs
2 UN Plaza, Room
DC2-1670, New York ,
NY 10017 , USA

Thank you in advance

Bernard Kihiyo
Executive Director
Tanzania Consumer Advocacy Society