Author: Consumer Choice Center

Europawahlen 2024 und Fake News: Consumer Choice Center started ‘Consumer Champs’ Kandidatenbefragung um Transparenz zu wahren

Das Consumer Choice Center gibt den Start seiner Kampagne “Consumer Champs” bekannt. Die Kampagne befragt über 12.000 Europawahlkandidaten zu ihren Positionen. Diese Prüfsteine sollen als Orientierungshilfe für Wähler in allen 27 EU Mitgliedsstaaten dienen. 

Mit über 12.000 Kandidaten im Rennen hat sich Consumer Champs zum Ziel gesetzt, die erste Anlaufstelle für Wähler zu sein, die sich darüber informieren möchten, wo Kandidaten zu Fragen von entscheidender Bedeutung für Verbraucherrechte stehen. Es geht dabei um Themen wie Handel, Digitalpolitik, Nachhaltigkeit und Gesundheit. 

Das Herzstück der Kampagne ist eine interaktive Website, auf der Wähler Kandidaten in ihrem Land erkunden können, ihre Positionen zu wichtigen Verbraucherthemen verstehen und informierte Entscheidungen am Wahltag treffen können. Nur kurz nach Start der Kampagne haben bereits über 60 Kandidaten ihre Antworten eingereicht. 

“Unsere Mission ist es, die Werte und Standpunkte von Parteien und einzelnen Politikern auf europäischer Ebene ins Rampenlicht zu rücken. Wir wollen Wählern einen transparenten Einblick geben, welche Kandidaten für was stehen. Ferner wollen wir Misinformation und Fake News gegenbeugen, indem wir allen Kandidaten die Chance geben an einer zentralen Stelle ihre Positionen aufzuzeigen.” kommentierte Fred Roeder, Geschäftsführer des Consumer Choice Centers. 

Für weitere Informationen zur Kampagne “Consumer Champs” besuchen Sie bitte ConsumerChamps.eu.

Originally published here

Consumer Champs: A Beacon of Hope for Informed Decision-Making in the 2024 European Parliament Elections

The Consumer Choice Center’s ‘Consumer Champs’ campaign offers a beacon of hope for informed decision-making in the 2024 European Parliament elections by shedding light on candidates’ stances on critical consumer rights and choice issues, ultimately empowering voters to make choices that reflect their values.

In an era where the political landscape can feel like a labyrinth, the Consumer Choice Center (CCC) has launched a campaign to help voters navigate the maze. The ‘Consumer Champs’ initiative, designed for the 2024 European Parliament elections, aims to shed light on candidates’ stances on consumer rights and choice issues. With over 12,000 candidates running, making an informed decision can be a daunting task. The CCC is here to help.

The Birth of ‘Consumer Champs’

The ‘Consumer Champs’ campaign was conceived to address the growing need for transparency in the European political arena. By focusing on critical areas such as trade, digital freedom, and sustainability, the CCC is providing voters with the tools to make informed decisions. The campaign’s heart lies in its interactive website, which allows voters to explore candidates in their country and better understand their views on consumer rights and choice.

Read the full text here

Throwing Money at “TikTokers” Will Not Stop the Boats but Risks Further Chinese Influence

London, 15 February 2024 – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) is extremely concerned about hearing reports that the Home Office is intending to pay TikTok influencers to urge migrants not to cross the channel. 

In a statement, Mike Salem, the UK Country Associate at the CCC stated that this is a “grotesque waste of taxpayers’ money.” Salem further highlighted the contradictory nature of this campaign in using TikTok, an application that is now banned from UK Parliamentary devices over cybersecurity risks, to deter migrants from crossing the channel. He added: “There is no way to quantify and measure the effectiveness of these influencers and their videos.”

In his concluding remarks, Salem noted “I am surprised they are encouraging influencers to increase content on a platform they deem dangerous, and more dangerously to discuss British political affairs. The fact that the Home Office is paying influencers instead as a means to evade the ban on government use of TikTok says it all.”

The CCC has continuously warned of TikTok and its dangers to vulnerable users. The CCC believes in freedom of choice, but also in freedom from surveillance, especially from a regime that conducts mass espionage on its citizens globally and regularly commits human rights violations. It is abhorrent that the UK government is promoting individuals to post on that social media outlet, and we call on the government to withdraw these plans and review their decision-making process in allowing this policy to go this far.

Consumer Choice Center Launches “Consumer Champs” Campaign Ahead of European Parliament Elections

Brussels, 12 Feb 2024 -The Consumer Choice Center is proud to announce the launch of its groundbreaking “Consumer Champs” campaign, dedicated to helping European voters navigate the complex landscape of political candidates vying for seats in the European Parliament in 2024. 

With over 12,000 candidates running, Consumer Champs aims to be the go-to resource for voters curious about where their political candidates stand on issues vital to consumer rights and choice. The campaign is designed to guide voters through the labyrinth of public policy positions, focusing on critical areas such as trade, digital freedom, sustainability, and more. 

The heart of the campaign lies in an interactive website that allows voters to explore candidates in their country, understand their views on pressing consumer issues, and make informed choices on Election Day.

“Our mission is to spotlight the values and stances of parties and individual politicians at the European level. Will they uphold bureaucratic norms with a centralized approach, or will they champion change by prioritizing consumer rights and choice, limiting the overreach of centralized institutions?” commented Zoltan Kesz, Government Affairs Manager at Consumer Choice Center.

Consumer Champs encourages active participation from voters by urging their political candidates to transparently outline their preferences on crucial consumer rights issues before the European Parliament elections. The campaign believes in the power of transparency and the role voters can play in influencing candidates and parties to prioritize consumer-centric policies.

Proposal on Restricting Vaping Spaces Harms Scottish Vapers

London (UK), 9 February 2024 – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) is worried about tobacco harm reduction methods being impeded on by the latest proposal of the Scottish Conservative Party to ban vaping in enclosed public spaces.

In a statement, Mr Mike Salem, the UK Country Associate for CCC expressed concern about the proposal. He stated: “Adding hurdles to vaping will only serve to revert those who are trying to quit smoking right back into it.”

Salem further criticised the statement made by Dr Sandesh Gulhane, the shadow health secretary of the Scottish Conservatives when the latter expressed concern regarding the lack of “solid evidence about the health effects [of vaping].” Salem’s response is: “the evidence is pretty clear and statistically significant on the matter; vaping is far less harmful than smoking, and to limit its usage will reduce health prospects of smokers who are trying to quit. If Dr Gulhane has any doubts about that he should check NHS Scotland’s website”. 

The CCC is surprised that such a misinformed claim about vaping is being made by a potential future Scottish health secretary. Public Health England shows that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than tobacco. As such, the CCC champions vaping as an effective method for reducing tobacco harm and calls on the Scottish Conservative Party to reconsider its position on the matter.

‘Illegal vapes are already flooding the market’: What impact will disposable vapes ban really have?

Government plans to ban disposable vapes have been welcomed as a “vital” move to protect children’s health and the environment, but campaigners fear it comes with risks without further action.

The long-term health impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine they contain can be highly addictive. Withdrawal can lead to anxiety, trouble concentrating and headaches. 

One in five children had tried vaping in 2023, up from 15.8% in the previous year, according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). Around 7.6% of children were vaping at least once a week.

Rishi Sunak is set to announce the plans on a visit to a school on Monday (January 29).

The prime minister said in a statement: “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.”

The ban on disposable vapes is expected to come into effect towards the end of this year or in early 2025.

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How does Deutsche Bahn compare with European rail firms?

For the second time in a month, a nationwide strike has forced German commuters to choose between being stranded at a train station or stuck in a traffic jam. Deutsche Bahn (DB) employees have been on strike since Wednesday, leading to disrupted train schedules and congested roads in what’s planned to be Germany’s longest rail strike to date.

While not uncommon in Germany, these rail strikes are only one facet of the many challenges facing the national railway service. Passengers regularly grapple with prolonged delays and cancellations for a variety of reasons that go beyond labor disputes.

Frequent cancellations

DB operates the majority of Germany’s railways and is responsible for approximately 95% of long-distance transportation, 67% of local transit and 42% of freight conveyance. In 2023, just 64% of long-distance trains reached their destination on time, meaning less than six minutes late, according to a DB spokesperson. These numbers, however, do not include instances where delays are so long that journeys are canceled.

In a 2023 study by the nonprofit Consumer Choice Center, Germany accounted for six out of the 10 worst stations for passenger convenience in Europe. The index, which assessed factors like network connections and the frequency of delayed services, indicated that the German railway system is trailing far behind its neighbors in terms of service and efficiency.

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Raising the Minimum Unit Price on Alcohol is Harmful for Everyone

London (UK), 7 February 2024 -The Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a global advocacy group championing individual freedom and consumer choice, is alarmed by the latest plan of the Scottish Government to raise the minimum pricing on alcohol by 30%. It is not a sensible economic measure, and the policy will not improve overall quality of life in Scotland. 

Mike Salem, The UK Country Associate at the CCC, warns that if the Scottish Government continues to focus its attention on punitive measures that affects the entire population, it will neglect those who need genuine help. He stated, “I am quite amazed the Scottish Government is doubling down on a policy that is clearly not working”. Despite the introduction of these measures, alcohol related deaths increased by a quarter over the past three years.

Salem highlighted that there are more positive and effective mechanisms of tackling alcohol abuse without constraining the rights of consumers. He adds that “given the inelasticity of alcohol demand, higher prices will not dissuade those who ought to stop, and the Scottish Government in this process is helping the drinks industry to jack up profits by creating a price floor, which encourages these companies to continually sell alcohol in Scotland”.

As such, the CCC cautions against this new plan, which only serves to put pressure on ministers to raise the minimum unit price even higher in the future when it is shown once again to be ineffective.

Rishi’s Vape Ban: Last Nail in the Coffin of UK’s Harm Reduction Leadership

London, January 29th, 2024 – The Consumer Choice Center (CCC), a global advocacy group championing individual freedom and consumer choice, criticises the UK government’s latest announcement to introduce bans on disposable vapes, limit vaping flavours, and ban tobacco products for everyone born on or after January 1st, 2009.

Fred Roeder, Managing Director of the Consumer Choice Center, warns that the UK will lose its global leadership in cutting smoking rates thanks to smart regulations. Roeder stated, “For over a decade now, the UK’s approach was the global gold standard on combatting smoking rates – Rishi’s giga ban package will be the last nail in the coffin of the UK’s harm reduction leadership.”

Roeder continues, “Smoking rates are already at historic lows. This shows that previous policies have worked. Stricter enforcement of age restrictions at the point of sale is a good idea. However, banning entire categories of innovative products is going exactly in the wrong direction. As a former smoker who was able to quit thanks to vaping, I can only say that the planned ban on disposables will make it harder for people to quit. 5% of UK adults currently use disposable vapes – Do we really want to risk that many of them pick up smoking again?”

The Consumer Choice Center highlights on its campaign website www.no2prohibition.uk the issues with Rishi’s generational ban and vape restrictions.

Electronic cigarettes banned in public places starting Monday

Starting Monday, electronic cigarette products will be banned inside public places in Illinois.

Kristina Hamilton of the American Lung Association said the association has been leading the charge to encourage states to expand their smoking bans to include e-cigarettes. A coalition of partners across Illinois have been working with the association for several years to prohibit vaping indoors, she said.

“We are very excited that the ban is finally taking effect on Jan. 1,” Hamilton said.

Shortly after the law was signed, Elizabeth Hicks with the Consumer Choice Center warned the measure may push Illinoisans back to cigarettes, leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab.

“Taxpayers unfortunately also suffer in addition to consumers,” Hicks said. “The annual Medicaid costs for smoking-related illnesses in Illinois is over $2 billion, which is one of the highest throughout the country.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement that banning indoor use of such products “sends a strong message that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to smoking.”

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