Feeds

Choc-coated insect sales challenge Trading Standards

Call to beef up e-commerce consumer protection

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Sales of food over the Internet have being described as an "enforcement nightmare" by Trading Standards officers, whose job it is to look after consumer rights in the UK.

Early work conducted by Staffordshire County Council Trading Standards, discovered such luxuries as 'chocolate-coated insects' and 'cricket lick-it' lollipops to be easily purchasable on the Internet.

'Cricket Lick-It' lollipops contain a complete insect inside the sweet, a blatant flouting of health and safety regulations.

Stephen Butterworth, Trading Standards Lead Officer for Food Safety, said: "Crunching crickets is not the issue. We have strict food laws in this country for obvious reasons. But, no matter how effective checks are at ports, airports and in the market place, you simply cannot control the purchase of some very weird foods over the Internet."

Protecting the physical health of ecommerce punters, as well as making sure they're free from online scams, is among the reasons the Trading Standard Institute is calling for more regulatory resources and better training.

As previously reported, at its annual conference in Cardiff this week the Institute has called for the creation of a national post charged with co-ordinating the transition to egovernment and establishing the Trading Standards Internet enforcement and regulatory role. This would be a single additional post geared to tying together what has been up until now the piecemeal efforts trading standards units have been able to apply to Internet trade.

The call comes at a time when the Institute admits that trading standards officers have "fallen slightly behind the times" and lack the expertise needed to regulate ecommerce.

Richard Webb, the Trading Standard Institute spokesman for ecommerce, said it was not calling for the kind of resources lavished on the police's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit.

The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit has been "swomped" with reports of cybercrime from business and has therefore concentrated on high level crime, said Webb, who said matters such as non-delivery of goods or problems with bogus sites could be a gap in consumer protection.

He said trading standards could effectively tackle such problems and collate information from the public on more serious offences which it could then pass to the police. Trading standards groups had a responsibility to be more effective in fulfilling this role, he added. ®

External Links

E-Commerce Challenge Facing Trading Standards
Buying On The Internet - The Gateway For Future Food Scares

Related Stories

Trading Standards - the anorak of the wired world
Rogue computer outfits face swifter action
Dead-baby muncher pic spawns police inquiry
Police urge business to report hi-tech crimes
Cybercops are go!

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Airbus promises Wi-Fi – yay – and 3D movies (meh) in new A330
If the person in front reclines their seat, this could get interesting
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.