Day: September 2, 2021

Parliament decides on F2F this month, here is what it should know

Parliament should raise serious questions about the plans.

This month the European Parliament is set to discuss the Farm to Fork strategy of the European Commission. The plans set out significant changes to the farming system, mandating a 50% reduction of pesticides by 2030, and an increase to 25% of the share of organic in all EU food production in 2030. Adding to that, the strategy wants to set out goals for “healthy diets”, combining the goal of reducing meat consumption for both health and environmental purposes.

The essential claim is that processed meat is a danger to public health, as it is associated with an increased risk of cancer. The “associated with” is quite an important keyword here, especially since it is being repeated so often. Everything you consume is essentially carcinogenic, and can therefore be linked to different cancers. The question is how dangerous it is exactly. 

Read the full article here

The Smart Way to Think About Crypto Regulation

Within the usually boring procedure of shepherding another massive infrastructure bill through Congress last month, a fiery debate erupted over the future of cryptocurrencies and digital assets.

The Senate bill contained broad language to ensure tax and regulatory compliance on all cryptocurrency transactions, regardless of origin, as a revenue generator.

However, traditional financial transactions cannot compare to the complex algorithmic crypto world of mining, staking, rewards, and smart contracts. It is easy to see why many digital currency enthusiasts were alarmed.

In a hackneyed manner no one saw coming, the entire future of the crypto industry, including projects such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Non-Fungible Tokens, and blockchains, was thrown into peril.

Amendments to adapt the language or delete it outright were proposed. But following Senate rules, even a single voice of opposition could kill them. Or, in this case, a desire to spend $50 billion more on defense spending killed them. And that was that.

To be clear, America deserves a fair and substantive debate on the nascent crypto space. If we are to consider regulation, we need testimony from innovators, entrepreneurs, advocates, and skeptics. Instead, we witnessed a collage pasting marathon, with proposals and taxes glued together without even a thought for millions of crypto consumers.

Most shockingly, however, the rules have actually very little to do with the innovative nature of the crypto space and everything to do with how much money legislators thought they could extract from the industry and token holders. This was laid bare in the Biden administration’s fact sheet on the infrastructure bill, which claimed the $1 trillion plan would be funded by “strengthening tax enforcement when it comes to cryptocurrencies.”

Despite the inelegance of these proposals, there are smart and consumer-friendly policies we can adopt on cryptocurrencies and crypto projects.

To begin, federal agencies can concentrate on the causes of fraud and abuse. With every successful crypto token or coin, there are dozens of scam sites or exchanges that defraud users or siphon all digital assets they can before they shut down, known in the industry as a “rug pull.”

By focusing resources on dishonest brokers and projects committing fraud, the government could save millions of consumers from losing their hard-earned money, all the while differentiating between bad actors and good ones. This would help boost confidence in the system overall.

Second, any crypto regulation should make technological neutrality a core tenet, meaning that government should not declare winners or losers. Just like the vinyl record was replaced by the CD-ROM and then the MP3, governments should not choose a preferred technology and instead allow innovation and consumer choice to make that determination.

The less than a decade-old crypto industry hosts an intense competition that rapidly changes each day. Whether through algorithmic mining (Proof of Work) or block validation (Proof of Stake), users and entrepreneurs are testing and adapting best practices. If the government endorses one method or outlaws another, because of environmental or technical concerns, it risks backing the wrong horse and stifling innovation.

Third, regulators must not pigeonhole cryptocurrencies only as investments fit for taxing, but rather as technological tools that empower consumers and foster innovation. A unique crypto asset class, separate from traditional securities, would help users benefit from the decentralization and encryption that these projects offer while ensuring reasonable taxation of gains.

Last, regulators must provide legal certainty to the budding crypto sector or risk pushing all crypto activity to the black market, where no rules or regulations will be followed. The disastrous effects of the Drug War on cannabis users or victims of 1920s Prohibition underscore this point.

Clear guidelines that allow crypto companies to open bank accounts, take out insurance, and compensate workers legally will safeguard innovation, continue to create value for entrepreneurs and consumers, and will allow firms to pay taxes and follow rules. This will be vital.

Legislators should view the crypto industry as a friend rather than a foe. With more opportunities will come more investment, more jobs, and more innovation – and that means we’ll all be better off.

Originally published here

The fan-friendliest stadiums in Europe, revealed

As we get back to normal slowly, football should be an experience.

The Consumer Choice Center released its first Fan-Friendly Stadium Index!

The Fan-Friendly Stadium Index is a European ranking evaluating the biggest football stadiums in Europe by their overall capacity, accessibility, services provided, number of restaurants and stores, and their physical structure. The index evaluates a series of important metrics for football fans around the world.

The COVID pandemic halted all sports events in Europe and around the world. Until recently, many matches and games were behind closed doors – meaning that fans were not allowed to watch them in person. Now, with vaccination rollout at full speed, many countries have decided to remove some of the COVID restrictions on sports events, and football fans could not be more excited about it.

Read the full article here

Київ потрапив у топ-10 столиць за рівнем розвитку шерингової економіки.

Електросамокати, автомобілі, квартири… Київ другий рік поспіль у топ-10 столиць за рівнем розвитку шерингової економіки. Сервісів багато, і вони доступні. Про те, наскільки вигідно користувачу орендувати щось не від офіційної компанії, а через певну платформу чи додаток в іншого користувача, який хоче поділитися тим чи іншим ресурсом, та про перспективи цього бізнесу, йтиметься в програмі «Акцент» на Українському радіо.


Un nouveau paquet législatif vient définir la mise en place du Green Deal européen. Au menu (bien indigeste) : automobiles, carburant, alimentation… et ce n’est qu’un début. Votre pouvoir d’achat va passer à la casserole…

La Commission européenne a récemment dévoilé son paquet « Fit for 55 », censé définir la manière dont le Green Deal européen sera mis en œuvre. Dans ce paquet, un grand nombre de mesures vont augmenter les coûts imposés aux consommateurs et les priver de leurs choix individuels.

L’une des mesures clés suggérées dans ces nouvelles propositions législatives est la mort des moteurs à combustion interne. D’ici 2035, aucune nouvelle voiture diesel ou à essence ne pourra être vendue, y compris les voitures hybrides.

En substance, cela signifie que les Européens seront limités aux seuls véhicules électriques, les voitures à hydrogène n’étant pas encore arrivées sur le marché en grand nombre.

Read the full article here


Fred Roeder ist Managing Director des Consumer Choice Center. Er ist ein Sprachrohr für die Rechte und Bedürfnisse von Konsumenten. Roeder war auch in führenden Rollen bei den Students for Liberty aktiv.

Was heißt Freiheit für Sie?

Was mich wirklich motiviert ist die Freiheit zu haben, Dinge auszuprobieren – sowohl als Verbraucher als auch als Innovator. Viel zu oft mischt sich der Staat bei neuen Technologien und Dienstleistungen ein. Neue Dinge werden in alte sklerotische Regelwerke gepresst. Gutes Beispiel dafuer sind zum Beispiel Apps wie Uber oder Deliveroo. Wir haben hier ein ganz neues Ökosystem für Dienstleistungen, Kunden lieben es, aber Regulierer wollen es kaputt machen. Das nervt und schränkt Innovation und Wahlfreiheit ein. Das motiviert mich, aufzustehen und für Wahlfreiheit zu kämpfen.

Welches Buch (oder Bücher) haben Sie bisher am meisten verschenkt? Oder: welche ein bis drei Bücher hatten den größten Einfluss auf Ihr Leben?

Sachbuecher: Capitalism and Freedom von M. Friedman, Human Action von Mises, Fiction: Dune von Frank Herbert, The Expanse Series von James Corey.

Was erwarten Sie in puncto Freiheit vom 21. Jahrhundert?

Ich erhoffe mir viel von neuen Technologien. Kryptowährungen und Blockchain an sich bringen eine ganz neue Dimension in Innovation, Finance und Geldpolitik.  Technologie kann natürlich auch vom Staat gegen Freiheit eingesetzt werden, aber ich bin da optimistisch: Innovation wird immer erst auf der Seite der Freiheit passieren. Ich hoffe auch, dass wir zu mehr Wettbewerb zwischen Städten kommen und verfolge das Konzept der Privatstädte mit hohem Interesse. Bei neuen Lebensmittel- und Biotechverfahren liegen auch Riesenchancen. Von dürreresistenten Getreidesorten dank Genschere bis hin zu Impfstoffen, die binnen Stunden und nicht Jahren entwickelt werden. Das ist schon alles ziemlich cool!

Wo sind für Sie die Grenzen der Freiheit? Wann muss Freiheit eingeschränkt werden?

Also, ich komme ja aus der Verbraucherpolitik: Jemandem wissentlich vergiftetes Essen zu verkaufen oder Kunden aktiv zu täuschen ist nicht ok. Wenn ich als Produzent etwas als gesund bewerbe aber weiss, dass ich viel zu viel Quecksilber in meinem Essen habe, solllte das schon nicht legal sein bzw. kann und sollte von Gerichten geklärt werden. In kurz: Fär sein Handeln muss man haften.

Wie beurteilen Sie die Entwicklung der Freiheit in den letzten 100 Jahren?

Also, ich bin ja kein Historiker… es gab richtig schlimme Ereignisse in den letzten 100 Jahren (Sowjetunion, Nazideutschland, das kommunistische China), aber eben auch deutlich mehr Wohlstand und Frieden in vielen Teilen der Erde.

Welchen Rat würden Sie einem klugen, motivierten Studenten geben, der gerade sein Studium abgeschlossen hat und in die Jobwelt eintritt? Welchen Rat würde Sie ihm raten zu ignorieren?

Mir hat es nach dem Studium wirklich geholfen, erst einmal für eine Zeit in einem grösseren Unternehmen zu arbeiten und einige Tricks and Abgebrühtheit von älteren Kollegen und Vorgesetzten zu lernen.

Lieber eine freie, aber arme Gesellschaft oder eine prosperierende Diktatur?

Antwort C): Eine prosperierende und freie Privatstadt.

Originally published here

Pentingnya Mensosialisasikan Hak Kekayaan Intelektual

Hak kekayaan intelektual merupakan hal yang sangat penting untuk melindungi para pembuat karya dan pekerja kreatif agar mereka bisa mendapatkan manfaat dari karya yang mereka buat. Melalui perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual, maka hak para pembuat karya dan pekerja kreatif atas karya yang mereka buat dengan susah payah akan dilindungi.

Tanpa adanya perlindungan hak kekayaan intelektual, maka setiap orang akan dapat mencuri dan membajak karya-karya yang dibuat oleh orang lain demi keuntungan diri mereka sendiri. Bila demikian, tentu hal tersebut akan sangat merugikan para pembuat karya dan pekerja kreatif.

Indonesia sendiri pada dasarnya sudah memiliki berbagai produk hukum yang bertujuan untuk melindungi hak kekayaan intelektual. Beberapa diantaranya adalah Undang-Undang No. 28 Tahun 2014 tentang Hak Cipta dan Undang-Undang No. 13 Tahun 2016 tentang paten.

Pasal 1 Ayat (1) Undang-Undang Hak Cipta tahun 2014 misalnya, secara eksplisit disebutkan bahwa, “Hak Cipta adalah hak eksklusif pencipta yang timbul secara otomatis berdasarkan prinsip deklaratif setelah suatu ciptaan diwujudkan dalam bentuk nyata tanpa mengurangi pembatasan sesuai dengan ketentuan peraturan perundang-undangan” (jogloabang.com, 17/9/2019). Melalui undang-undang tersebut, secara eksplisit disebutkan bahwa hak cipta adalah hak yang dapat digunakan secara ekslusif oleh mereka yang membuat karya tersebut.

Sayangnya, dalam implementasinya, perlindungan kekayaan intelektual di Indonesia seakan masih sangat semu. Di berbagai pusat perbelanjaan maupun toko-toko daring misalnya, kita dapat dengan mudah menembukan berbagai barang bajakan dijual secara bebas, mulai dari produk-produk hiburan seperti CD musik, hingga berbagai produk-produk fashion seperti baju, tas, dan sepatu.

Barang-barang tersebut dijual dengan harga yang sangat murah, jauh dari harga barang aslinya. Dengan demikian, tentu saja barang-barang bajakan tersebut akan semakin menarik para konsumen untuk membeli barang-barang bajakan tersebut. Hal ini tidak hanya menimpa berbagai produse dan pembuat karya dari luar negeri, namun juga berbagai pekerja kreatif dari negara kita.

Memang, di satu sisi, salah satu faktor yang sangat krusial yang membuat hal tersebut tetap terjadi adalah faktor penegakan hukum. Banyaknya aparat penegak hukum yang abai terhadap berbagai fenomena pembajakan produk yang dapat kita temukan dengan mudah di berbagai tempat membuat semakin banyak orang yang merasa bahwa mereka dapat dengan mudah membajak suatu produk tanpa konsekuensi.

Hal ini tentu bukan sesuatu yang dapat dibenarkan, dan harus kita atasi dengan sebaik mungkin. Namun, bukan berarti masalah tersebut hanya terletak pada aspek penegakan hukum saja. Tidak sedikit juga bagi para pelaku industri kreatif yang tidak mendaftarkan karya atau produk yang mereka buat kepada pemerintah, agar Hak Kekayaan Intelektual dari produk dan karya tersebut dapat terlindungi.

Berdasarkan Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Kemenkumham) pada tahun 2020, pendaftar Hak Kekayaan Intelektual di Indonesia masih belum tinggi. Padahal, anggaran yang diberikan kepada Kementerian Riset, Teknologi, dan Pendidikan Tinggi sebesar 41,26 triliun rupiah (nasional.kontan.co.id, 30/6/2020).

Berdasarkan data dari Kementerian Riset, Teknologi, dan Pendidikan Tinggi, pada tahun 2020 lalu, ada sekitar 1.368 pendaftar dalam negeri yang mendaftarkan karya mereka agar kekayaan intelektualnya dapat terlindungi (nasional.kontan.co.id, 30/6/2020). Oleh karena itu, sangat penting bagi angka ini untuk ditingkatkan, agar semakin banyak para pekerja kreatif yang hak nya terlindungi sehingga bisa mendapatkan manfaat dari karya yang mereka buat.

Untuk itu, sosialisasi mengenai pentingnya untuk mendaftarkan karya yang kita buat agar hak kekayaan intelektual dari karya kita tersebut dapat terlindungi adalah hal yang sangat penting. Hal ini sangat penting dilakukan untuk meningkatkan kesadaran masyarakat mengenai pentingnya melakukan pendaftaran tersebut.

Berbagai kegiatan di banyak daerah sebenarnya sudah dilakukan oleh Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia (Kemenkumham) untuk mensosialisasikan mengenai pentingnya perlindungan atas Hak Kekayaan Intelektual. Kantor Wilayah Kementerian Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia Jawa Timur misalnya, pada bulan April 2021 lalu mengadalakn kegiatan sosialisasi di kota Sidoarjo, Jawa Timur, mengenai pentingnya perlindungan atas Hak Kekayaan Intelektual, khususnya yang berkaitan dengan produk-produk unggulan daerah (jatim.kemenkumham.co.id, 2021).

Sosialisasi mengenai pentingnya pendaftaran karya dan produk untuk melindungi Hak Kekayaan Intelektual tidak hanya dilakukan oleh Kemenkumham. Berbagai lembaga, seperti beberapa lembaga perbankan di Indonesia misalnya, juga melakukan hal tersebut. Bank NTT misalnya, pada bulan Mei ini beberapa waktu lalu, menyelenggarakan pertemuan dengan para pelaku Usaha Mikro Kecil Menengah (UMKM) di Kabupaten Manggarai Barat untuk mengkampanyekan pentingnya pendaftaran hak cipta dan paten untuk menghindari pembajakan (Kumparan.com, 19/5/2021).

Sebagai penutup, kampanye dan sosialisasi mengenai pentingnya perlindungan Hak Kekayaan Intelektual adalah program yang sangat penting untuk meningkatkan kesadaran masyarakat mengenai pentingnya untuk mendaftarkan karya-karya atau produk mereka. 

Hal ini sangat penting agar para pembuat karya dan pekerja kreatif mampu menikmati hasil dari karya yang mereka buat dengan susah payah, dan berbagai tindakan ilegal yang sangat merugikan seperti pembajakan akan lebih mudah untuk dicegah dan ditindak.

Originally published here

August 2021


In August, while many were enjoying the rest of their fabulous summer vacations, the CCC continued to work hard and wrapped up the season in style with new content, research, team members, & more! Let me take you through the last few weeks to update you on all of the excitement.

US Should Learn From EU’s Agriculture Mistakes, Not Copy Them 👨‍🌾

Bill continues his battle against the bad agricultural policy, this time warning the US about the dangers of mirroring the harmful and restrictive regulations that the European Union has embraced. Give it a read, because similar to a scarecrow, we think Bill is out-standing in his field. Sorry for being so corny 🌽

Battling WHO’s Fake News on Vaping 🥊

Maria co-authored a great piece for the Parliament Magazine calling out the World Health Organization’s latest report that spreads more false myths about vaping. WHO’s continued efforts against a device that is 95% less harmful than smoking sure are scary for consumers, luckily we are here to fight back.

Soaking Up the Spotlight in Kyiv 🌟

Our 2021 Sharing Economy Index got a lot of attention in Kyiv this week thanks to an amazing press conference hosted by Maria, featuring NGO leader Anna Danilenko and transport planning expert Dmytro Bespalov. Congrats again to Kyiv for ranking in the top 10 of best cities in the world for the sharing economy! 

The Best European Football Stadiums to Kick Back & Relax at ⚽️

Fabio released the amazing Fan-Friendly Stadium Index this month, which ranks the biggest football stadiums in Europe through important metrics for football fans such as the stadium’s overall capacity, accessibility, services provided, number of restaurants and stores, and their physical structure. If you are as excited as we are about football, then you will want to check out this index to find the best stadiums to catch a game at!

Latin America ❤️’s the Sharing Economy!

As we have highlighted before, the LATAM Sharing Economy Index 2021 was created in collaboration with Somos Innovacion, and provides essential consumer information about the best cities to rent a scooter, get a taxi on a ride-sharing platform, or book an Airbnb throughout Latin America. We are proud to share that the index was featured in a variety of outlets such as La CapitalEju TV, among others, and our team also put together an awesome video explaining the index. Check it out!

We are on TikTok!

More and more consumers are watching video content, especially short videos that are 60 seconds or less, such as TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. So we decided to create educational short-videos to share on these platforms. Our Communications Manager Fabio Fernandes has already posted 3 videos that you definitely are going to enjoy. Check our Instagram and Youtube channel or follow us on TikTok!
That’s a wrap for this month! Stay tuned on all of our social media channels for more info on our current activities. Defending consumer choice is more important than ever, in the world of nannies and cronies. If you want to support our work, please consider making a donation.

Elizabeth Hicks
U.S. Affairs Analyst

July 2021

Hope your summer has been as eventful as ours! 

In July, while others were basking in the sun, we continued churning out great content, analysis, and providing results. You’ve heard of superheroes, but even they’d envy our efficiency this month!

Staff retreat in Georgia 🇬🇪

We love seeing our work make an impact, but it’s even sweeter when we as a team can spend some time together in person. This time, the team reunion took place in the beautiful country of Georgia (yes, yes, we followed all COVID guidelines). Nothing is better than campaigning while enjoying regional Georgian wine, eating khinkali or khachapuri (or both!), and various kebabs. Our amazing team member Anna made sure no one left Georgia without a few bottles of wine to make the inspiration last. With a few additional kilos gained (because the food was so delicious) we are roaring into the upcoming months with lots of new ideas and ambitions. Stay tuned!

David’s best interview on harm reduction

Although David couldn’t join us in Georgia, he made sure the CCC stayed in the news. David went on 980 CKNW radio to make a strong case for vape flavours. David loved it, the host loved it, and we are sure you will too!

Global Sharing Economy Index 2021

With COVID restrictions being relieved, traveling is finally back on the agenda. Where in the world can you go and freely enjoy e-scooters and ride-sharing? Myself and Anna put together the Global Sharing Economy Index to update you on the recent sharing economy regulations.

Pandemic resilience

In his latest op-ed for the Arabian Business, Fred argues that creating agile vaccine frameworks is key to future pandemic resilience. Give it a read and share with your friends so when the next pandemic strikes, you’ll be like “Fred told you so!” 😉

The special episode of ConsEUmer! 🎙️

Every Thursday on Spotify and Apple/Google podcasts we present the ConsEUmer podcast, giving you updates on consumer choice around Europe. During our staff retreat, we recorded a very special episode of the ConsEUmer featuring Maria, Liz, and Luka D. We talked about COVID-19 vaccinations, switching petrol cars for electric, and the divide in the sharing economy.

Dental insurance needs reform

Yaël’s dedication to health reform in the US never stops, and this time it’s all about dental insurance! Check out his latest op-ed for Inside Sources on the topic.

Maria joins Independent Women’s Forum 

As you’ve probably noticed, I love writing about vaping and obesity, and innovation. To make the voice of consumers in these fields even louder, I joined the Independent Women’s Forum as a Visiting Fellow. 

Say hi to our newest addition to the team! 🎉
The Consumer Choice team keeps growing! Say hello to our Research Fellow Rati Gvasalia. We are happy to see our team grow and are always on the look-out for new talent to help us elevate our fight for #consumerchoice to the next level!
That’s a wrap for this month! Stay tuned on all of our social media channels for more info on our current activities. Defending consumer choice is more important than ever in the world of nannies and cronies. If you want to support our work, please consider making a donation: DONATE

Maria Chaplia
Research Manager

2.4 million smokers in the UK turn to vape to quit

VAPING debate is heating up again. While the World Health Organisation has just released a statement pouring cold water on the use of vape in helping to reduce tobacco consumption, evidence in the United Kingdom (UK) continues to show that it is very effective in helping smokers to quit traditional cigarettes.

A recently published survey by a tobacco control advocate in the UK, has found nearly two-thirds (64.6%) of its vaping population comprising adults are ex-smokers who have quit smoking with vape, with the proportion growing year-on-year. This figure translates to approximately 2.4 million vapers who are ex-smokers.

In addition, the proportion of never smokers remain low at 4.9% or approximately 200,000 adults.

According to the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), there are 3.6 million vapers in the UK in 2021 which is approximately 7.1% of its total population.

Based on the survey, most of the current e-cigarette users who are ex-smokers say they vape to help them quit (36%) and to keep them off tobacco (20%), strengthening the claim that that vaping is helping smokers to quit traditional cigarettes.

According to UK’s Annual Population Survey, smoking prevalence among adults aged 18 and over in England has declined significantly. In 2011, 19.8% of adults smoked, falling to 13.9% in 2019, equivalent to a drop from 7.7 million smokers in 2011 to 5.7 million in 2019.

In fact, reports over the years by Public Health England (PHE) found that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes and was helping 20,000 people quit a year. PHE also claim that that e-cigarettes are the most popular aid used in quit attempts for smokers in UK.

In 2020, 27.2% of people used a vaping product in a quit attempt in the previous 12 months, compared with 15.5% who used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

It also said that concern about e-cigarette use as a gateway to smoking among young people wasn’t supported by evidence in the UK, where regular vaping among young people who’ve never smoked is less than 1%.

In addition, evidence from a randomised controlled trial found that vaping was nearly twice as effective as NRT in helping smokers quit in a Stop Smoking Service setting in England, and a systematic review of the evidence has concluded that there is moderate-certainty evidence that e-cigarettes with nicotine increase quit rates compared to e-cigarettes without nicotine and compared to NRT.

In Malaysia, a survey commissioned by Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) found that 88% of Malaysian vapers who used to smoke cigarettes have successfully quit smoking with the aid of vape.

The same poll also found that 79%, who currently vape and also smoke traditional cigarettes at the same time, have reduced smoking since taking up vape.

Clearly, the role of vaping in helping smokers to quit traditional cigarettes for good cannot be ignored.


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