European customers would suffer from proposed EU rice duties

Core Tip: The Italian government has asked the European Commission to employ the safeguard clause on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar in order to “protect Italian rice growers”.

The Italian government has asked the European Commission to employ the safeguard clause on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar in order to “protect Italian rice growers”.

However, Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Centre, criticised the request and said that it’s time the European Union stopped pushing forward protectionism.

“The reasoning behind trade barriers is to protect a specific industry – in this case Italian rice growers – from competition,” he said.

“What’s usually overlooked though is that whilst taking the producer side, protectionist policies end up causing a great harm to consumers who get stripped of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of free trade.

“The Italian government is simply asking to limit the affordability of rice.”

He added: “The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the third largest trading partner of the EU. In 2017, co-operation with the ASEAN resulted in the output of more than € 227,3 billion in goods.

“As part of this economic engagement, the European Union has been actively trading with both Myanmar and Cambodia and therefore using the agricultural imports, in particular rice, to feed up the EU market.

“Before employing another protectionist measure, the European Commission should ask itself whether it wants to ensure European consumers are able to enjoy a great supply of rice and consequently a favourable pricing or whether it is the unwillingness of one group to compete which matters more.”

European customers would suffer from proposed EU rice duties

FOOD AND DRINK INTERNATIONAL: The Italian government has asked the European Commission to employ the safeguard clause on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar in order to “protect Italian rice growers”.

However, Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Centre, criticised the request and said that it’s time the European Union stopped pushing forward protectionism.

“The reasoning behind trade barriers is to protect a specific industry – in this case Italian rice growers – from competition,” he said.

“What’s usually overlooked though is that whilst taking the producer side, protectionist policies end up causing a great harm to consumers who get stripped of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of free trade.

“The Italian government is simply asking to limit the affordability of rice.”

He added: “The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the third largest trading partner of the EU. In 2017, co-operation with the ASEAN resulted in the output of more than € 227,3 billion in goods.

“As part of this economic engagement, the European Union has  been actively trading with both Myanmar and Cambodia and therefore using the agricultural imports, in particular rice, to feed up the EU market.

“Before employing another protectionist measure, the European Commission should ask itself whether it wants to ensure European consumers are able to enjoy a great supply of rice and consequently a favourable pricing or whether it is the unwillingness of one group to compete which matters more.”

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Proposed EU duties on rice would hurt European consumers, says #ConsumerChoiceCenter

EU REPORTER: The Italian government asked the European Commission to employ the safeguard clause on rice imports from Cambodia and Myanmar in order to protect Italian rice growers.

European Affairs Manager of the Consumer Choice Center Luca Bertoletti criticized the request and said that it’s time the European Union stopped pushing forward protectionism.

“The reasoning behind trade barriers is to protect a specific industry – in this case Italian rice growers – from competition. What’s usually overlooked though is that whilst taking the producer side, protectionist policies end up causing a great harm to consumers who get stripped of the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of free trade. The Italian government is simply asking to limit the affordability of rice,” said Bertoletti.

“The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is the third largest trading partner of the EU. In 2017, co-operation with the ASEAN resulted in the output of more than € 227,3 billion in goods. As part of this economic engagement, the European Union has  been actively trading with both Myanmar and Cambodia and therefore using the agricultural imports, in particular rice, to feed up the EU market.

“Before employing another protectionist measure, the European Commission should ask itself whether it wants to ensure European consumers are able to enjoy a great supply of rice and consequently a favourable pricing or whether it is the unwillingness of one group to compete which matters more,” Bertoletti concluded.

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OMS: buone intenzioni, cattive esecuzioni

ATLANTICO: E’ evidente che, nonostante le ottime intenzioni, l’OMS non stia percorrendo la strada giusta per risolvere i problemi legati al tabacco. Come dice Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager del già citato Consumer Choice Center: “L’OMS ha perso la bussola. Deve decidere se continuare sulla cattiva strada e diventare nient’altro che l’ennesima organizzazione burocratica e paternalistica, o tornare sui suoi passi e intraprendere il giusto percorso per tutelare la salute e salvare vite umane”. Si ha l’impressione, a pochi giorni dal convegno, che le decisioni che saranno prese durante il COP8 a Ginevra, non andranno nella giusta direzione: è probabile che ne deriveranno ulteriori restrizioni e maggiori controlli. Una situazione che ci deve invitare a riflettere sul ruolo di determinate istituzioni e sul loro operato: è necessario armarsi di sano scetticismo anche nei confronti di organizzazioni che si pongono obiettivi così importanti e di carattere universale.

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EU should protect its brands and legislate to reinforce them, Italian MEP says

EURACTIV: The EU should protect its brands as they have a great potential to make Europe competitive worldwide, right-wing MEP Stefano Maullu told EURACTIV.com in the context of the continuing ‘branding versus consumer welfare’ debate.

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) NGO recently launched the Brands Matter Working Group, whose main objective is to oppose the spread of legislative measures against brands in Europe.

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POLITICO Pro Morning Health Care, presented by EPiCENTER: EU research money — Germany opens door on HTA compromise — Spain’s new health minister

POLITICO: Daniel Hannan, a British ECR MEP, questioned the so-called obesity epidemic often cited in the U.K. and other Western countries, doubting that “there is a medical justification for this assault on consumer’s choice” represented by sugar taxes or minimum alcohol prices. “Even if it’s true that we’re getting fatter, is that really the role of the state to regulate?” he wondered at an event organized by the Consumer Choice Center in Brussels on Wednesday.

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GOOD TOBACCO E LA SALUTE DEI CONSUMATORI

LA STAMPA: La conferenza sarà divisa in due panel: nel primo (14.30-16.00) interverranno Carlo e Gianpaolo Messina, fondatori di Yesmoke, per mostrare come la loro società ha cercato di incontrare le esigenze dei propri consumatori; nel secondo (16.30-18.00) interverranno Luca Bertoletti (Consumer Choice Center) e Pietro Paganini (Competere) per discutere della legislazione italiana e internazionale sull’argomento.

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France’s tobacco branding ban fails to deliver: An alternative approach is needed

CONTACT:

Luca Bertoletti

European Affairs Manager

Consumer Choice Center

 

France’s tobacco branding ban fails to deliver: An alternative approach is needed

Brussels, BE – After more than a year with a branding ban on tobacco products, new numbers published by the French Observatory for Drugs and Addiction reveal that cigarette sales have been cut by less than 0.7 percent.

Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC), said this represents a failure on the part of the French government and should prompt them to turn course.

“After more than a year of plain packaging for tobacco products in France, the policy has failed to significantly reduce smoking rates,” said Luca Bertoletti, European Affairs Manager for the Consumer Choice Center (CCC).

“Removing brands from the packs doesn’t change the behavior of the consumers, but instead promotes sales on the black market. That is troubling for public health advocates and consumers alike.

“If the French government wants to reduce the numbers of smokers it should embrace the use of harm-reducing nicotine products such as e-cigarettes and not ban brands. Brands are a powerful source of information for consumers that help them navigate among different levels of quality and price. Other countries should learn from the failure of plain packaging in France and drop this misguided policy,” said Bertoletti.

***CCC European Affairs Manager Luca Bertoletti is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

Juncker responde a la Casa Blanca con tasas a las Harley, los Levi’s y el bourbon

EL ECONOMISTA: Algunas asociaciones de consumidores ya han cuestionado el paso dado por la UE. “Imponer aranceles en represalia en productos americanos emblemáticos como el Bourbon de Kentucky o el queso de Wisconsin dañará a los consumidores europeos”, comentó Luca Bertoletti del Consumer Choice Center.

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