Tuesday, March 27, 2007

IGOR and the law: who’s to blame?

Under the terms of the Consumer Protection Act, the « Office de la protection du consommateur » (Consumer Protection Agency) issues 36 violation reports against Saputo; the company may be subject to fines totalling $60,000. These accusations are made in response to a complaint lodged last month by the « l’Union des consommateurs » (Union of consumers) and the « Coalition québécoise sur la problématique du poids » (Quebec coalition about problems of the weight); both organizations demanded that Saputo’s promotional campaign for IGOR muffins in day care centres be stopped. The company did not react to these accusations yet; if it decides to dispute them, a judge will ultimately have to decide on their cogency.

Besides the legal aspect of these commercial actions, one must also question the day care centres’ responsibility in this matter. Obviously, their collaboration was necessary to implement this promotional campaign. Now, I don’t hear anybody admonishing in the least the managers of these organizations; yet, they agreed to collaborate in the launching of this product of a questionable health value in return for some compensation, financial or other. Keep in mind that article 5 of the Educational Childcare Act states an obligation to develop healthy eating habits in children.

Do Saputo’s promotional actions for IGOR muffins shock you?

Was the Consumer Protection Agency’s intervention necessary to protect children?

Was the Consumer Protection Agency’s reaction overly severe?

Should Saputo solely bear responsibility?

Is the accommodating stance of day care centres open to criticism?

Should the government intervene with day care centres under the terms of the Educational Childcare Act?

I would really like to know your opinion on these questions!

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