A movement led by the Consumers’ Foundation to file a class--action suit on behalf of consumers against companies responsible for the food scare in May will commence next week, the foundation said yesterday.
The food scare was sparked by the discovery of the illegal use of plasticizers in additives supplied to food and beverage manufacturers.
Consumers’ Foundation chairperson Joann Su (蘇錦霞) said the foundation, together with the Cabinet’s Consumer Protection Commission (CPC), has processed and settled about 2,000 complaints.
However, most dealers and consumers have yet to reach a consensus, and more than half of the cases, numbering in the thousands, remain unsettled, she said.
The foundation said it was preparing to gather volunteer lawyers to help consumers take the group complaint to court, adding that details on how to apply to join the group lawsuit would be announced next week.
The cost of the entire legal proceeding is estimated at about NT$6 million (US$201,000), and funding for the trial will come in part from fund-raising, Su said.
She added that the foundation would try to solicit support from the Cabinet’s secondary reserve funds.
Su also called on the government to amend third-party insurance regulations and approve the legislation for the Consumers’ Protection Foundation Fund as soon as possible to better protect consumers’ rights.
She said that under current regulations for third-party insurance, consumers can only collect payment if they have suffered actual losses or provide evidence of actual loss.
Neither do these regulations provide guarantees for returning or exchanging merchandise, she said.
As such, third-party insurance has not helped consumers affected by the plasticizer incident, Su said, urging the government to amend the law to safeguard consumers’ rights.
Following the plasticizer scare in May, the foundation began a two-month survey in July to gauge consumers’ views on the whole incident.
The survey, which collected 2,142 samples, showed that although consumers are now more aware of what to look out for during purchases, 55 percent of respondents have lost confidence in the nation’s food security, despite the government’s emergency measures to deal with the issue.
Only 5 percent of respondents expressed confidence in local food security measures, the survey showed.
More than half of respondents also said that consumers’ rights were not upheld and compensation was lacking during the incident, the poll showed.
As to the foodstuff dealers’ attitude, 66 percent of respondents said they could not accept the dealers’ comment that they were also victims in the case.
A total of 61 percent said they had lost faith in the dealers, with only 3 percent saying that the incident had not affected their confidence in dealers, the poll said.
Asked whether it would be reasonable for dealers to provide a considerable sum to establish a compensation fund for consumers, 69 percent of respondent agreed it was reasonable, the poll showed.
The survey also showed that 69 percent of respondents had become more suspicious about food safety after the incident; 65 percent said they thought the “brand name” and “type” of products being sold have a great impact on their choices of which to buy, the survey said.
Translated by Jake Chung, Staff writer
Proposed legislation in the US outlines three conditions in which Washington would be authorized to protect Taiwan were China to invade, a report said yesterday. US Representative Ted Yoho this month said he would introduce a Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which would authorize US military force if China were to invade Taiwan-controlled areas, including its outlying islands. According to a version of the bill obtained by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times), the bill lists three conditions in which a US president would be authorized to use military force to protect Taiwan: If China uses military force
The Supreme Court on Tuesday found four men guilty of attempted murder in the 2017 stabbing of Spanish surfer Ignacio Prio on a Pingtung County beach in the final ruling in the case, sentencing them to three-and-a-half to six years in prison. The defendants had appealed their convictions for attempted murder in the first and second rulings, which had also led to prison sentences ranging from three-and-a-half years to six years. The then-42-year-old Prio went to Jialeshui Beach (佳樂水) near Kenting (墾丁) on March 31, 2017, was attacked after he asked four men to remove their fishing lines from an area
Two new commuter trains are scheduled to be launched in January next year, the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said yesterday. The acquisition of EMU-900 commuter train cars is part of the railway operator’s plan to replace 589 train cars that have been in operation for more than three decades. The agency has also placed orders to buy 600 intercity train cars. The first batch of 20 EMU-900 cars is to be delivered to the nation in September, although delivery might be delayed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency said. The batch would be formed into two trains of 10
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s