Council’s response Premila Kumar CEO, Consumer Council of Fiji With reference to Professor Wadan Narsey’s letter ‘Children and advertisements’ (Fiji Sun 05/03/14) the Consumer Council wishes to state the following.
06 Mar 2014 12:10

Council’s response

Premila Kumar
CEO, Consumer Council of Fiji

With reference to Professor Wadan Narsey’s letter ‘Children and advertisements’ (Fiji Sun 05/03/14) the Consumer Council wishes to state the following.
On his question (a) – the council has always taken a strong stance that advertisements and promotions on unhealthy foods and beverages targeting children are highly unethical.
We have been lobbying strongly against unethical advertisements to children for a while now. In 2008, we marked World Consumer Rights Day with the theme “Junk Food Generation – Advertising and Marketing of Unhealthy Food to Children in Fiji”. This was when we exposed our survey findings on the sale and marketing of unhealthy foods in schools.
On question (b) – the council does have a policy on children under “The Child Consumer” where we have pledged to lobby (among other things) for special protection of children from being used in advertising; special protection from marketing and promotion of junk foods to children and; establishment of advertising standards and regulations in Fiji.
On question (c) why we are not banning these advertisements? – the council wishes to clarify that being an advocacy organisation, it does not have the enforcement power to ban such advertisements.
The council, however, persistently lobbies for the control of marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to children through appropriate regulations by the relevant enforcement agencies. In 2011, we made a formal submission to the Minister for Health on policy to limit or control the marketing of unhealthy foods to children.
There is already a draft regulation with the ministry which is currently at the final consultation stage.
The regulation aims to control the advertisement and promotion of unhealthy food and beverages to children.
We have also provided feedback from our market surveillance especially our surveys of schools to ascertain the kinds of food sold in canteens and the marketing of unhealthy foods/beverages. We had also lobbied with one major soft drinks company to limit its marketing of sugary drinks at schools and sports events.
Professor Narsey is welcome to visit our website – www.consumersfiji.org – for information on our work on marketing of unhealthy foods to children.


Wise Muavono

The problem with society today is we don’t respect authorities anymore, especially security guards.
The job of security guards can be said as “thankless” yet their responsibilities are serious, and they are among the underpaid ones.
They are often taken for granted until only something significant happens.
Especially in Fiji, security guards at supermarkets and hardware shops are known mainly for searching our bags.
But we are forgetting, in times of emergencies, they are one of the first to respond. Guards also have the power to arrest suspects, detain them until Police comes. But they get no respect.
Respect is a mark of most profound education. Respect is intellectual. Respect is more than just being kind to the person.
Respect gives a positive feeling of regard. It empowers and makes the recipient proud. It gives honour to them and to the work they do.
As what writer ‘Eric Hoffer’ said: “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” But I say: “No rude man lessen stupidity, no matter how wrong or right he is.”

Missing link

Shad Alfaz Ali

What a tragedy! We hear every day that Ben Ryan is visiting all corners of Fiji looking for a star talent – the X-factor that is missing from the Fiji 7s team.
Well Ryan, you are to be blamed as well. We had our best 7s player available in Ilai Tinai but you chose to ignore him. Yes, we agree he had some disciplinary issues but at the same time we must be reminded that players like Tinai are not born every day.
The likes of Tinai, Serevi, Caucau, Delasau, Ryder, Bari, Vunibaka, Satala and Vucago are stars who are born once in generation and it is difficult to replace them.
It is wise for us to harness their talents and get the most out of them when they are at their peak.
It is so sad to note that our best 7s player is left to play in Sri Lanka while we at home are crying for the next big thing to be unveiled at the Marist 7s tournament.

Act now!

Suresh Chand

When nature wreaks havoc only the well- prepared will reign.
Early timely preparedness during natural disasters helps save properties and lives. People who follow advisories and act accordingly cut out the burden and risks involved should a need for an emergency rescue operation at the height of a disaster arise.
In contrast, those who are complacent and act too late only repent for a long time. And their inaction and laziness puts other people’s lives in danger.
Unlike before, people are now blessed with better warning mechanism. The authorities now sound timely warning well ahead of approaching flood or storm.
But experience should now make us better respondents when disasters loom. Please heed warnings issued, seriously.
Tune up

Allen Lockington

Christians began Lent yesterday.
It is a time of repentence, forgiving, fasting and a time when we seek to wash away the stains of sin and rid ourselves of all that prevents us from living a true Christian life.
It is a time when we prepare ourselves for the Lords’ passion, death and resurrection.
As we witness the handing over of the post of Commander of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and gear towards our General Elections, I hope we can prepare ourselves for the future and eternal democracy.
Let us leave behind all that holds us from being true Christians and move forward and elect a new government that will lead us to the future with peace, progress and prosperity.
And from the peace and serenity of my home in Namulomulo, Nadi, let’s take this time to give our hearts, minds, body and soul a good “tune up”.

Home remedy

Hirday Lakhan

Turaga Tagi Vonolagi is prescribing a wonderful cost-effective cure for dengue and more than that he confirms that it works following a trial on self. Just wondering if the same can be taken as prevention?
Any suggestion by any source should be taken on board for trial and further studies.
Never know what we are looking for may just be right in front of our eyes and not far but in our own backyards.
There could just be a new enterprise in the making.

Ban diapers

Sukha Singh

Could the Government ban the importation of diapers?
Most diapers are being disposed off into rivers.

Good move
Savenaca Vakaliwaliwa

Judging from the recent popularity poll on who should be our next Prime Minister, over 70 per cent of the people who participated voted for our current Prime Minister.
Judging also from the support given by the people of the 14 provinces in Fiji for the PM, one could conclude that the above figure should be expected in the coming general election.
Listening to Tuesday’s talk back show in the iTaukei language, one could sense that the PM cared for the people and would go the second mile to get things done.
I thought it was a good move when reading that the FLP, National Federation Party and the Social Democratic and Liberal Party will have a coalition before the polls (Fiji Village 4/3).
With the kind of popularity the PM has, the Public Employees Union banner of “United we Stand, Divided we Fall” comes to mind as the best strategy of counter attack and winning the election.

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