Valeria Schvartz (Legal Assessor and Project Assistant, Union of Users and Consumers http://www.usuarios.org.ar/ in Rosario, Argentina) talks about her first two weeks as a Rhoda Karpatkin advocate through Consumers International.
BEUC, Test Achats and Consumetenbond. I was received very kindly by members of each organisation, who took the time to brief me about their projects and how they achieve their work. The same happened here in London where I was very well received by everybody.
I’ve been reading a lot about junk food and children and adolescents and I believe that Consumers International is doing great in regards to this issue, especially in identifying advertising as one of the most influential factors in food and diet. Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to advertising techniques.
I believe that food advertising should be given a regulatory level, at least in my country where the incidence of obesity is increasing rapidly. In my city we have a project that is attempting to make some progress in school canteens by swapping junk food for healthy options, such as changing a packet of chips for yoghurt.
Although I now have plenty of ideas to carry out in my country, it is sometimes impossible there, keeping in mind that we are a developing country.
I quite admire how people here get involved with organisations that protect their rights – they buy specialty magazines like Test Achats etc. In my country people are still unaware of their rights. Here organisations are able to provide a good service because they are listened to by big industry and government, this does not occur in my country, we have no government support.
I hope that with time, things will change in my country and we can achieve greater benefits for consumers. Thanks to everybody for giving me the opportunity to learn so much about your concerns for consumer rights.