Consumer Rights Day to focus on antibiotics

Consumer Rights Day to focus on antibiotics

On Tuesday March 15, 2016, the Consumer Affairs Department of the Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs in collaboration with the National Consumers Association will be marking World Consumer Rights Day by joining a global campaign to get Antibiotics off the Menu. Other partners include the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, St.Lucia Bureau of Standards and the St.Lucia Poultry Stakeholders Committee.

Consumer organizations from around the world, in partnership with Consumers International, are calling on food companies to make a global commitment to stop serving meat from animals raised with the routine use of antibiotics important to human medicine.

As the Department charged with the responsibility to educate and protect the welfare of consumers, the Consumer Affairs Department will be joining the campaign with a number of planned activities aimed at increasing the awareness of consumers. These activities include:

* Information dissemination sessions at the Vieux-Fort Town Square and the J.Q. Charles Mall in Rodney Bay on Tuesday, March 8th and Wednesday March 9th respectively;

* A roving road show on Friday March 11th;

* A walk from Mega J to Pigeon Island on March 13th (this walk is open to the public, registration commences on Monday March 22nd at the Consumer Affairs Department. On Tuesday March 8th – interested persons can register at our information booths at the Vieux-Fort Town Square and on Wednesday March 9th at the J.Q. Charles Mall in Rodney Bay.)

* Discussion on the theme: Antibiotics off the Menu – March 15th, 2016.

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The overuse of antibiotics in agriculture is a major driver of antibiotic resistance, which is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. The World Health Organization has warned that, without urgent action, we are heading for a post-antibiotic era, in which important medicines stop working and common infections and minor injuries can once again kill.

Around half of the antibiotics produced globally are used in agriculture, with much of this being used to promote faster growth and to prevent, rather than treat, disease. Despite worldwide concern about the overuse of antibiotics, their use in agriculture is due to increase by two thirds by 2030: from 63,200 tons in 2010, to 105,600 tons in 2030.

This year the Ministry encourages everyone to join in the celebrations particularly in our walk on March 13th. The Ministry also urges consumers to be vigilant and to read all labels before making a purchase.

The Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs takes this opportunity to wish all consumers a happy World Consumer Rights Day.

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