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Anderton weighs-in on behalf of Consumers

8 November 2001 Media Statement

Anderton weighs-in on behalf of Consumers

Consumers and businesses will get a fairer deal with weighed and measured products, announced Jim Anderton Minister of Consumer Affairs today.

"A new system for checking the quantity of pre-packed products will come into force on November 14. The new system - called the Average Quantity System - gives consumers even greater assurance that they're getting what they pay for - that is, that the product is at least the weight stated on the packet.

In 1995 the Ministry of Consumer Affairs estimated that consumers were $4 million out of pocket from underweight or incorrectly measured goods. "The number of annual cases has decreased since then," said Jim Anderton. "But we still need to be vigilant and these new regulations will ensure that consumers are not left out of pocket.

The new regulations will apply to things such as chocolate bars, canned food, frozen foods, detergents, cosmetics, gardening and farming products, and animal foods.

The regulations set out statistical sampling guidelines for Ministry of Consumer Affairs Trading Standards Officers to carry out random checks of packers throughout the country. These checks will be ongoing.

"Packers will need to be sure that any checking systems they currently use mean that their products will meet the new specifications allowed by the regulations.

“The new system will allow packers to exercise greater control over the fill limits of packages.”

"The new system will benefit exporters as it means New Zealand's packing systems are in line with international partners - in particular the European Union, Japan, Canada, the USA and South Africa. Australia is in the process of following our lead and adopting the system,” said Jim Anderton.

ENDS

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