Products that are labeled ecological or green – how can consumers know what this actually means? Answer – they can’t. This is the depressing truth, according to a report yesterday from The European Court of Auditors. The report, critizising lack of effective control both on the EU level and in the individual European countries, is concerned primarily with food, but the same problem goes for all kinds of consumer products.
– The consumer’s interest in ecological products is steadily growing, said Kevin Cardiff, one of the auditors presenting the report in Luxembourg yesterday. But the control systems don’t work properly. Above all it’s difficult to trace the origins of products: how they’ve been produced, distributed and imported. Both as an EU auditor and as a consumer I find it important that these flaws are corrected, he said.
The European Commission already in May this spring launched a strategy for EU consumer policy for the years to come. The aim here is to maximise consumer participation and trust in the market. Only empowered and confident consumers can fully exploit the potential of the market and enhance innovation and growth, the Commission stated when the European Consumer Agenda was presented. Not in the least it’s important to adapt consumer law to the digital age, to factor in the needs of vulnerable consumers, and to make sustainable choices easy.