Member of Parliament for St Michael West Central James Paul is leading an attack on false advertising which “encourage recklessness” among consumers.
Speaking in Parliament this morning on the Health Services Amendment Bill 2017, which proposed widening the ban on smoking in public to include electronic cigarettes, Paul suggested there was a rise in misleading and dangerous labelling, which legislators should consider controlling before it is too late.
“We also need to see what other initiatives need to be put in place to ensure persons who sell products in such a way that encourage recklessness in the way in which it is consumed [that] . . . these sellers [are held] to certain standards.
“We need to place certain standards on ads because we can no longer have advertisements that purport to give individuals something which is not true. Very often we have in our society advertisement on different commodities and very often when you look at what the advertisements are proposing to do or give people and when you do the fact checking, you find that in many cases that it is not true,” he stressed
The Government backbencher also said Government should educate young people on the subliminal advertisements, focused on selling and not the welfare of consumers.
“We need to have an initiative that would make our young people aware that in many cases that advertisements are only designed to sell a product. Very often we don’t understand in this commercial world the seller is not interested in the [welfare of] the buyer and that is the sad conflict that we have in our society. . . ,” Paul lamented.
He also urged Barbadians to pay closer attention to the fine prints on the labels of products as quite often they contradict what the products purport to do.
“We also have to encourage our consumers to pay attention to the labelling. Just recently you had a situation where persons would be selling a product that somehow looks good but when you look at the fine details in relation to the product, you find that what it is claiming to do, it really cannot do.
“But an unsuspecting consumer might find himself trapped because he is mainly trying to follow trends. I think that we as representatives of the people have a responsibility that persons are not trapped by this type of behaviour, which only benefits the persons who are selling the product,” he argued.