Consumer watchdog celebrates 32nd anniversary, new chair takes control

SAFEGUARDING RIGHTS::The Consumers’ Foundation came into existence after a series of contaminated food scandals and has since become a major societal force

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Sun, Nov 04, 2012 - Page 3

The Consumers’ Foundation celebrated its 32nd anniversary yesterday and used the event to affirm its pledge to look after and promote consumers’ rights.

The festivities began yesterday morning with a group of high-school students singing the foundation’s theme song, Tomorrow Will Be Better, to symbolize the foundation’s hopes to continue protecting consumers’ rights and to create a better society for future generations.

The foundation was established in 1980 by a group of academics following two major food safety incidents in 1979, in which rice bran oil was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls that damaged the health of more than 2,000 people and an incident in which illegally made wine blinded several people.

The foundation was established with the aim of promoting consumer education, enhancing the status of consumers and protecting the rights of consumers.

Handing the chairperson post to Mark Chang (張智剛) yesterday, Joann Su (蘇錦霞) said that while some may have jokingly told her that she was “lucky” to have been in her position during several major food safety alerts over the past two years during her tenure as chairperson, that the foundation still had to deal with “issues such as plasticizers and leaness-enhancing meat additives have emphasize the purpose of the foundation, which is to help monitor and safeguard consumer rights.”

Chang said that although the Consumer Protection Act (消費者保護法) was passed in 1994 and methods of manufacturing and patterns of consumption have changed over the years, “we can still see many companies profiting by finding loopholes. The foundation therefore will continue to help consumers monitor such cases.”

The foundation will also continue its monthly price checks, he added, pointing to recent, rapid price fluctuations that he said had caused the consumers’ “misery index” to increase.