What is the duty of a consumer in exposing misbranded labels?

A label is said to be misbranded if it does not have any of the mandatory information / or misleading / or carries false information as per law. (A) List of ingredients (B) Maximum Retail Price (C) Date of Packing / Manufacturing (D) Best before Date (E) Net weight/Volume (F) Nutritional Information (G) Contact Address for consumer complaints.
A consumer who comes across a label which is deficient / misbranded can take it up with the FSSA Authorities of the state or the Controller of Legal Metrology.

What are misleading statements / advertisements in the labels?

Any label which contains a statement in contravention of law or can not be substantiated by testing in a laboratory can be called misleading. Consumers can bring such labels to the notice of the manufacturer of the product whose address is printed in the label. If no satisfactory reply is furnished, he can take it up with the FSSA authorities in the state who have set up a special panel to look in to this. Even very popular brands are misleading the public.

What is FSSAI?

FSSAI is the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India which, oversees the food safety in our country. This authority is governed by FSS Act 2006. Each state will have a food safety commissioner assisted by designated officers in each district. Food safety officers will be the enforcing officers in each town. FSSA believes in the policy of training the food business operators (manufacturers, sellers, hoteliers, street vendors etc) on the hygiene and safety of food products their handling etc. the FSS Act 2006 is replacing the PFA Act 1954 and has come into force with efforts from 5th August 2011

What are the other activities of CONCERT besides giving training to women?

The CONCERT does not stop with just training. It is always on the search for products on sale which are misbranded or spurious. We take up with the concerned regulatory authorities after writing to the suppliers about the defects in the label / products.
We have conducted analysis of

Quality of drinking water in city schools

Quality of Idly / Dosa batter so???ld in Chennai.

Quality of water supplied through tanks erected in many parts of Chennai

We have conducted a survey on the milk sold through AVMS of AAVIN with reference to their volume, mandatory availability of measuring equipments etc

What is the recent work going on in CONCERT?

CONCERT has taken up an ambitious project on consumer product comparative testing with a grant received from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. It has taken up 7 products and 3 services for testing in the first year. The products are Oil, Milk, Toothpaste, Mosquito Coil, Pain Relief Balm, Wet Grinder, Water Purifiers, Banking, Insurance and Mobile Phone Services.

Products are tested after procuring selected brands in selected towns. They will be tested in NABL Labs for their declared quality and with ref to ISI and other existing Standards.

Services are compared by conducting survey among consumers and a technical audit of their performance.
Reports on all the products / services will be published in leading magazines of all the 4 southern states.

Assigned a project of Ministry of Consumer Affairs to test quality of eggs for pesticide residues.

We have completed testing of the following products and services in CT2 and CT3. The Products are Biscuits, Pickle, Paracetamol, Fairness cream, Detergents, Electrical plug & Socket, Ready to eat Foods, Housing Loan, Vehicle and Health Insurance, Chilly powder, Ghee, Brown Bread, Tour operators and Bathing Soap.

We will be testing 7 products and 3 services in the next phase of CT Project.

Are Neutraceuticals covered under PFA Act?

As per provisions of PFA Act, 1954 neutraceuticals are not covered under food but as per the FSSA Act 2006 which came into force from 5th August 2011 these will also be covered by its provisions.

How does CONCERT influence the Government of India on consumer issues?

CONCERT is representing consumers in as many as 14 committees of Food and Agriculture Divisions of Bureau of Indian Standards besides the committee on toys. The founder trustee is a member of the central advisory committee of the FSSAI.

How doesCONCERT Trust involve consumers especially students in consumer awareness activities?

CONCERT is proud to inform that it has been conducting surveys with the help of students of various colleges like MOP Viashnav JBAS, Chennai and Ethiraj College for Women Chennai.

Does CONCERT do anything on drug analysis?

During the years 2007- 2009 as many as 1509 drug samples were tested for four quality parameters among 10 medicines. 4 spurious medicines were found. Reports were sent to the Director /Drug Control for taking further action. Several media published these reports.

 

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