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Consumers want more information

Consumers groups say they are alarmed by the presence of GMOs in foods Keystone

Consumer protection groups have called for better product information during a series of events to mark World Consumer Rights Day.

This content was published on March 15, 2005 - 12:26

The Federal Consumer Affairs Office said on Tuesday that it was setting up a website in 2006 to help the public make informed decisions about what they buy.

Campaigners say they are especially concerned about the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in foods.

They want the government to follow international safety standards and take action to protect GM-free crops.

The Federal Consumer Affairs Office said on Tuesday that it was important that customers were not kept in the dark about what products and services they were buying.

With this in mind, it is launching a website next year to better inform the public of their rights.

"The government is taking steps to guarantee a higher level of health and safety for consumers," it said in a statement.

More transparency

Officials said they were pushing for greater transparency from producers and distributors on the provenance and production methods of goods.

World Consumer Rights Day is designed to remind the public of their basic rights to safety, information, choice, and to be heard.

But consumer protection groups in Switzerland said on Tuesday that they were still having difficulty making their voices heard.

Véronique Matthey, spokeswoman for a group in French-speaking Switzerland, said the Swiss lagged behind other nations in terms of consumer rights.

She said contracts for products and services continued to be written in small print, which proved difficult for customers to read.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

March 15, 1962: US President J.F. Kennedy outlines four basic consumer rights: safety, information, choice, and the right to be heard.
1973: Switzerland signs Charter for Consumer Protection adopted by the Council of Europe.
1983: first World Consumer Rights Day.
April 1985: United Nations adopts Charter for Consumer Protection.

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