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(AUSTRALIA) SCAM WATCH REPORT: Citizens have already lost about $12.9 million to online shopping including classifieds scams so far this year, and the ACCC is urging consumers to watch out for dodgy deals as pre-holiday sales approach #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.23: ” People are often searching for the best deals online, especially in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, so it’s easy to be caught off guard and fall for a scam.”

#AceDailyNews ACCC Report: Scamwatch has received over 26,000 reports of online shopping scams, more than the total reported through all of 2020. This is consistent with global trends from 2020 as more people shop online during the pandemic.

Kindness & Love❤️ says friends, followers and readers be safe this time of the year ….

This is a very busy time of year, and scammers often try to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers rushing to organise gifts,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

In an online shopping scam, scammers create realistic looking fake online stores selling items at heavily discounted prices, however the items are fake, or never delivered to buyers.

Scammers have also created fake stores on social media platforms or post fake ads on legitimate classifieds websites. They may request payment or offer discounts for payments made through direct bank transfers or cryptocurrency. 

“Before you buy, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of scams. While some scammers try to make online stores look legitimate by requesting payment via PayPal or credit card, always double check that the real PayPal platform is being used. Be suspicious of too good to be true offers and any sellers that ask you to pay by bank transfer, gift cards or cryptocurrency,” Ms Rickard said.

“Research the seller and make sure you know who you are buying from. Search online for the product or company name, plus “complaint” or “scam” to see what other people are saying. If you are buying from a social networking site, check the seller’s history and read reviews from other people who have dealt with them.”

“When you’re paying, avoid arrangements that ask for up-front payment via bank transfer, or payment through digital currency, like Bitcoin. Always try to use a secure payment service such as PayPal or credit card transaction,” Ms Rickard said.

If you’re waiting for your parcel, remember that scammers also take advantage of people expecting deliveries.

“Australia Post and other parcel delivery companies will never email, call or text you asking for personal or financial information or a payment. Many delivery companies have apps where you can track your parcels rather than clicking on links in messages or emails,” Ms Rickard said.

Losses to online shopping scams are spread across most age groups, but people aged 25-34 lost the most money, at $2.4 million.

The number of reports involving a financial loss has decreased this year, indicating that more people are able to recognise and avoid online shopping scams, however those that are losing money are losing more, with an average loss of more than $1,450, compared to $1,190 last year.

Some of the more significant losses reported to Scamwatch during the year relate to high value purchases:

  • Pet scams were the most reported when it came to online shopping scams and were also the most financially damaging. Scamwatch received over 2,800 reports and almost $3.5 million in losses so far, a 78 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
  • Vehicle sale scams resulted in big losses at more than $1.9 million, while other common products included caravans, shipping containers and electronics such as laptops, phones, and gaming consoles.
  • Shipping container scams were a new trend this year, fleecing consumers of over $676,000. They were popular on marketplaces and classified sites, but scammers also created fake websites and pretended to have real ABNs. Scamwatch has taken action to get some fake websites removed.

People who think they have been scammed should contact their bank or financial institution immediately. If the scam occurred on a social media platform, contact the platform and inform them of the circumstances surrounding the scam. 

They can also make a report to Scamwatch and find more information on where to get help on our website.

Know your consumer rights:

The ACCC is also urging people to be aware of their consumer rights if something goes wrong, even if the item was purchased during the sales season.

“Remember that you are entitled to consumer guarantees under the Australian Consumer Law, so if you’ve received a gift or purchased something in the sales and the product stops working or isn’t as it was described, you are entitled to a remedy depending on the nature of the problem,” Ms Rickard said.

“If you’re having an issue with your product, you should first contact the retailer. They cannot refuse to help by sending you to the manufacturer. Your local state and territory consumer protection agency can provide more information about your rights, and may also be able to help negotiate resolutions between you and the seller.”

Additional Notes: More information about consumer guarantees is available on the ACCC’s website.

Figure 1: Age of people reporting online shopping scams (and classified) by reports and losses (1 Jan – 31 Oct 2021 compared with all of 2020)

Table 1: Top 10 products reported in online shopping scams in 2021 (until 31 Oct), by highest losses

ACCC Infocentre: Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Nov.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) Federal Court Report: Decathlon Pty Ltd to pay penalties of $1.5 million for selling sports and recreation goods that did not comply with applicable mandatory safety standards, in breach of the (ACL) #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Aug.20: The Federal Court has ordered Decathlon (Australia) Pty Ltd (Decathlon) to pay penalties of $1.5 million for selling sports and recreation goods that did not comply with applicable mandatory safety standards, in breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

#AceDailyNews reports that Decathlon Pty Ltd (Australia) pays $1.5 million for selling sporting goods that did not comply with safety standards under Australian Consumer Law (ACL) following investigation by ACCC ….

Decathlon admitted that, between January 2016 and December 2019, it supplied 432 basketball rings and backboards and 307 portable swimming pools which did not comply with the relevant Australian mandatory safety standards.

Fourteen models of Decathlon basketball rings and backboards and five models of portable swimming pool products did not include the safety labelling, consumer warnings or installation and use instructions required by the safety standards.  

“Mandatory safety standards exist to reduce the risk of death and serious injury to consumers, especially children, when using these types of products,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“By not including these important warnings, Decathlon put consumers at risk of serious harm when they were using the Decathlon swimming pools, basketball rings and backboards.”

Decathlon admitted it supplied 66 portable pools which were over 30 centimetres deep without the required warnings such as “children have drowned in portable swimming pools”, “ensure active adult supervision at all times” and “pool fencing laws apply to this pool”.

Decathlon also admitted it supplied 341 basketball rings and backboards with user manuals that contained misleading representations that they were safe to attach to brickwork, when that was not the case.

“When the basketball rings and backboards are attached to a brick wall, the wall cannot cope with the stresses placed on them when people perform slam dunks, which could lead to serious or fatal injuries if the wall collapses,” Ms Rickard said.  

“It is illegal to sell products in Australia that do not comply with mandatory safety standards, and consumers have a right to expect that products they purchase will not endanger their safety, or the safety of their family and others.”

The Court found that Decathlon sold the products that did not comply with the relevant standards as a result of a general lack of attention to its legal responsibilities coupled with a failure to take effective and timely action in response to correspondence received from the ACCC that drew attention to compliance problems in relation to a range of products.

The Court ordered Decathlon to publish a corrective notice on its website and to implement an ACL compliance program. Decathlon was also ordered to pay the ACCC’s costs.

Decathlon admitted that it had contravened the ACL, and consented to declarations, and orders for the implementation of a compliance program order and publication of a corrective notice. 

Background

Decathlon is an online store which also operates five stores in Melbourne and Sydney. It is fully owned by its ultimate holding entity, Decathlon S.A. in France which has more than 1,500 stores across more than 55 countries.

In December 2019, Decathlon recalled 51 different products, including all Decathlon basketball rings and backboardsbasketball systems, and theportable swimming pools products which are the subject of these proceedings.

In July 2020, the ACCC instituted these proceedings against Decathlon.

Addtional Notes:

Portable swimming pools pose a drowning hazard to children and must comply with the Consumer Goods (Portable Swimming Pools) Safety Standard.

In 2018/19, 19 children aged 0-4 years drowned in Australia, nearly two thirds of them in swimming pools. Many more children are hospitalised each year after a drowning incident in a portable swimming pool.

Basketball rings and backboards must comply with the Consumer Goods (Basketball Rings and Backboards) Safety Standard. This standard is designed to reduce the risk of death and serious injury resulting from the improper installation and use.

Since 2012, one person died due to improper installation of a basketball ring and backboard on a garage which similarly collapsed when the user performed a ‘slam dunk’.

As the national product safety regulator for consumer products, the ACCC identifies, prioritises and manages product safety risks across many thousands of different product types to help keep Australians safe.

The ACCC works closely with its state and territory counterparts who regulate product safety across the country. 

Examples of products affected below:

Nabaiji brand, inflatable circular pool 152 37cm, orange

Nabaiji brand, inflatable circular pool 152/37cm, orange

Tarmak brand, B200 New Easy Space Blue, children’s basketball ring and backboard

Tarmak brand, B200 New Easy Space Blue, children’s basketball ring and backboard

Example of warning required for some basketball rings and backboards below:

Example of warning required for some basketball rings and backboards

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: Aug.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: After a review into the safety of inclined infant sleeping products, they are now seeking views on how best to respond to these potentially deadly products #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – July.22: Baby bouncers, rockers and recliners can be potentially deadly for infants, and the public health advice remains for infants to sleep on a flat, firm surface without pillows or bumpers,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

#AceDailyNews says infants can suffocate when sleeping in so-called ‘infant inclined products’, such as bouncers, rockers, swings, loungers, bassinet-type products, wedges, recliners and sleep accessories due to the incline, curvature of the backrest and soft sleeping surface according to ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said…..

ACCC REPORT:

“We are looking for feedback about these products to address the risks of injury and death.”

In the US, 73 infants died in incidents in infant inclined products between January 2005 and June 2019. There have been no fatalities in Australia that are reported to be directly attributed to infant inclined products.

Since 2019, two products linked to deaths overseas have been voluntarily recalled in Australia, the Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and Kids II Rocking Sleeper.

“We are urging parents and carers to check if they have any of these products and to stop using them. You should contact the manufacturers directly to seek a refund,” Ms Rickard said.

“Often, baby products are handed down to family or friends when a child outgrows them. Make sure you do not unknowingly pass on a dangerous product.”

The ACCC has today published an issues paper with options to address the hazards of inclined sleeping products, and is seeking feedback from stakeholders, including consumer representatives, medical professionals, as well as manufacturers and retailers of infant inclined products.

There are currently no mandatory or voluntary standards in Australia that specifically apply to infant inclined products.

The issues paper outlines a range of options for stakeholders to contribute feedback to, including mandatory safety and information standards, bans, consumer education and improved on-product warnings and is seeking input into the potential costs and effectiveness of options to address the risks associated with infant inclined products.

The issues paper and information on the consultation process is available on the Product Safety Australia website. Consultation will close on 16 August 2021.

Background:

On 12 July 2019: ACCC initiated a safety review of infant inclined products following reports of infant fatalities in the United States in bouncers, rockers and recliners. Due to the impact of COVID-19, this work was temporarily paused in early 2020.

Implementing strategies to prevent injuries and deaths to infants caused by sleeping products identified as unsafe is a Product Safety Priority for the ACCC this year.

‘Infant Inclined Products’ are a broad category of products used by parents and caregivers that position infants at an inclined angle. There are a number of different products potentially falling within this category such as rockers, bouncers, swings, co-sleepers and bassinet-type products.

The ACCC is particularly concerned about sleep products that are designed, or marketed as suitable for an infant to sleep in, with a sleep surface that has an incline greater than 10 degrees.

Advice for consumers:

If you have infant inclined sleeping products at home consider whether you want to continue using them.

If you continue to use the products:

  • Never leave your infant unattended.
  • Stop using the product when your baby begins to roll.
  • Put the product on a flat floor surface, away from potential hazards.
  • Carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of the product.
  • Remember to only place infants to sleep on a flat, firm surface.

Recalls

Further information on these recalls is available on the Product Safety Australia website: Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and Kids II Rocking Sleeper.

Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper

Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper

Kids II Australia Pty Ltd – Rocking Sleeper

Kids II Australia Pty Ltd – Rocking Sleeper

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: July.22: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: They are urging parents to ensure Apple AirTags are kept out of the reach of young children, and have raised safety concerns with Apple about the accessibility and security of the button battery inside the product #AceNewsDesk report

Button Batteries are dangerous

#AceNewsReport – June.30: The ACCC is concerned that the AirTag’s battery compartment could be accessible to young children, and the button battery removed with ease. In addition, the AirTag battery compartment’s lid does not always secure fully on closing, and a distinctive sound plays when an AirTag’s lid is being closed, suggesting the lid is secure when it may not be.

ACCC SAFETY REPORT: Parents urged to keep Apple AirTags away from children as safety precaution and these are small Bluetooth tracking devices that can be attached to, and then used to locate, items such as keys or wallets, that are powered by lithium coin cell ‘button’ batteries

ACCC REPORT:

“We were also concerned that the outer product packaging does not have any warning about the presence and dangers of button batteries, and we note that Apple has now added a warning label to the AirTag’s packaging. However, this alone does not address our fundamental concerns about children being able to access the button batteries in these devices,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

The ACCC has raised these safety concerns about the AirTag with Apple, and discussions continue.

The ACCC notes that in its public statements, Apple has stated the AirTag is “designed to meet international child safety standards, … by requiring a two-step push-and-turn mechanism to access the user-replaceable battery”, and that it is “working to ensure that [its] products will meet or exceed new standards, including those for package labelling, well ahead of the timeline required”.

“We are continuing to investigate to determine what actions may be required to address our safety concerns,” Ms Rickard said.

“We are also liaising with our international counterparts on the safety of Apple AirTags, and at least one overseas public safety regulator is also examining the safety of this product at this stage.”

“As a safety precaution, we urge parents to keep AirTags away from their children. We know that small children can be fascinated by keys and love playing with them, so there is a risk that they could access this product, which is designed to be attached to a key ring, among other things,” Ms Rickard said.

“We are aware several large retailers, including Officeworks, are currently not offering the AirTag for sale because of concerns about button battery safety.”

The ACCC is also assessing whether there are issues with button battery safety in similar Bluetooth tracking devices.

Three children have died and 44 have been severely injured in Australia from incidents involving button batteries in other products, and more than one child a month is seriously injured as a result of ingesting or inserting the batteries which are contained in millions of consumer goods worldwide.

The mandatory safety and information standards were introduced in December 2020, and apply to all button batteries and consumer goods containing button batteries in Australia. The mandatory standards come into force on 22 June 2022.

From this date, fines and penalties may apply for retailers or manufacturers that supply button batteries, or products containing them, that do not comply with the mandatory standards.

“Currently in Australia, suppliers are guided by an industry code which is voluntary. We urge all manufacturers and suppliers to be ready to comply with the new mandatory standards as soon as possible,” Ms Rickard said.

Button batteries are dangerous for children, especially for children five years of age and under. If swallowed, a button battery can get stuck in a child’s throat and cause a chemical reaction that burns through tissue, causing death or serious injury within a short amount of time.

Insertion of a button battery into body orifices such as ears and noses can also lead to significant injuries.

The ACCC is engaging with a number of suppliers of a range of different products in relation to concerns about the accessibility of button batteries in those products.

Background

Button batteries are flat, round batteries with diameters up to 32mm and heights ranging from 1-11mm. They are found in a large number of common household items such as toys, remote controls, watches, digital kitchen scales, thermometers and hearing aids.

When ingested or inserted, the batteries can cause serious injury within two hours or death within days. When lodged in the body and in contact with bodily fluid, button batteries can burn through tissue and cause catastrophic bleeding.

In Australia and globally, there is a growing record of injuries and deaths from button batteries.

The ACCC has worked with industry and state and territory Australian Consumer Law regulators to improve the safety of button batteries and products that contain them for many years.

In October 2020, the ACCC produced a video outlining the danger of button batteries, under the slogan “Tiny batteries, big danger”. This campaign is currently being run again to increase consumer awareness of the button battery hazard.

Mandatory safety standards specify minimum requirements such as performance, design, construction, finish, and packing or labelling that products must meet before they can be supplied in Australia. Mandatory information standards help ensure consumers are provided with important information about a product to assist them in making a purchasing decision. Information standards do not necessarily relate to the safety aspects of a product.

While the standards are currently voluntary, after 22 June 2022 the standards will be mandatory. Manufacturers must implement any required manufacturing and design changes to products and packaging, undertake testing and remove non-compliant stock.

Information about button battery safety is available on the Product Safety Australia website.

Tips for parents and carers

  • If you think a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, contact the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 for 24/7 fast, expert advice. You will be directed to an appropriate medical facility that can manage the injury. Prompt action is critical. Do not wait for symptoms to develop.
  • Symptoms may include gagging or choking, drooling, chest pain (grunting), coughing or noisy breathing, food refusal, black or red bowel motions, nose bleeds, spitting blood or blood-stained saliva, unexplained vomiting, fever, abdominal pain or general discomfort.
  • Children are often unable to effectively communicate that they have swallowed or inserted a button battery and may have no symptoms. If you suspect a child has swallowed or inserted a button battery, you should ask for an x-ray from a hospital emergency department to make sure.
  • Keep new and used button batteries out of sight and out of reach of small children at all times – even old or spent button batteries can retain enough charge to cause life-threatening injuries.
  • If buying a toy, household device or novelty item, look for products that do not use button batteries at all, such as products powered by other types of batteries or rechargeable products that do not need button batteries to be replaced.
  • Examine products and make sure the compartment that houses the button battery is child-resistant, such as being secured with a screw. Check the product does not release the battery and it is difficult for a child to access. If the battery compartment does not close securely, stop using the product and keep it away from children.
  • Dispose of used button batteries immediately. As soon as you have finished using a button battery, put sticky tape around both sides of the battery and dispose of immediately in an outside bin, out of reach of children, or recycle safely.
  • Tell others about the risk associated with button batteries and how to keep their children safe.

Consumers are encouraged to report unsafe products through the Product Safety Australia website.

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

Ban Button Batteries 😔
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FEATURED: Scientists Find Toxic ‘Forever Chemicals’ in More Than 100 Popular Make-Up Products that break down in some cases into highly toxic PFAS which can cause cancer and low infant birth weights according to Science News #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – June.24: After analyzing 29 cosmetics containing the highest amounts of PFAS, these products were found to contain four chemicals that further break down into other highly toxic PFAS, such as perfluorooctanoic acid, which can cause cancer and low infant birth weights, per Science News.

Waterproof mascara and long-lasting lipsticks contained the highest levels of organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS: They are linked to severe health effects such as cancer, hormone disruptions, weakened immune systems, and low birth weights: The toxic chemicals are found in various everyday consumer products, including non-stick cookware, pizza boxes, stain repellants—and even cosmetics, according to a new study published last week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Kindness & LoveX❤️ says Be kind to yourselves always check out the ingredients of products used on the skin or body as they may cause problems be safe friends, readers and followers Amen

A woman applying mascara to her eyes

Cosmetics designed to stay on longer or marketed as “wear-resistant,” “long-lasting,” and “waterproof” contained the highest levels of PFAS. (Deerstop Via Wikicommons under CC BY 2.0)smithsonianmag.com
June 22, 2021 3:03PM:

A table showing the percentage of cosmetics tested containing high levels of fluorine

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manufactured chemicals containing 9,000 different compounds that have been around since the 1940s. PFAS do not break down and accumulate in the environment and human body over time. The substances persist for long periods of time, hence the nickname “forever chemicals.”

More than half of all cosmetics tested in the study contained high levels of toxic Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), reports Mathew Daly for the Associated Press. The study is the first to screen cosmetics for the total amount of PFAS present in make-up.

University of Notre Dame researchers tested 231 frequently-used makeup products, including liquid foundation, concealer, blush, lipsticks, and mascara, reports Tom Perkins for the Guardian.

Approximately 82 percent of waterproof mascaras, 63 percent of foundations, and 62 percent of liquid lipsticks contained at least 0.384 micrograms of fluorine per square centimeter of product spread out, reports Maria Temming for Science News.

“Moreover, the types of products that tested positive for high levels of fluorine—and thus likely to contain PFAS—are often used close to and around the eyes and lips,” Whitney Bowe, a dermatologist at the Icahn School of Medicine, who was not part of the study, tells CNN’s Sandee LaMotte.Various products tested contained high levels of fluorine (Green Science Policy Institute)

The eyes, skin, and lips are vulnerable to absorption of the toxic chemicals. PFAS are absorbed through thin mucus membranes close to the mouth and tear ducts. Lipstick is more likely to be accidentally ingested, and wearers may consume up to several pounds of the cosmetic throughout their lives, explains study co-author Graham Peaslee, a physicist at the University of Notre Dame, in a statement. Besides direct exposure through makeup, PFAS can end up in drinking water after being washed off the skin, Science News reports.

PFAS are added to cosmetics to increase their long-term wearability and make skin appear shimmery and smooth, CNN reports. The compounds increase durability, product consistency and water resistance. Because PFAS do not breakdown in water, cosmetics designed to stay on longer or marketed as “wear-resistant,” “long-lasting,” and “waterproof” contained the highest levels of the chemicals, the Guardian reports. However, the researchers were unsure if cosmetic companies are aware that their products are infused with fluorine.

“It’s not clear whether the brands are actually saying ‘Give us PFAS to use in our products or asking for a thickener, for example, or something functional without paying too much attention to what’s in it,” says study co-author Tom Bruton, a chemist at the Green Science Policy Institute, to the Guardian.

In 88 percent of all tested products, the label did not disclose PFAS to the consumer, making it almost impossible to avoid the toxins, reports CNN. 

While half the makeup tested contained PFAS, the other half did not, which demonstrates that products can be manufactured without the chemicals, the Guardian reports.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Jun.24: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) ACCC REPORT: Mosaic Brands Limited, an ASX listed company, has paid penalties totalling $630,000, and admitted that it breached the Consumer Law in its promotion of pandemic-related ‘Health Essential Products’ #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.28: Mosaic Brands is the largest speciality fashion retail group in Australia. It owns well-known fashion brands Noni B, Autograph, BeMe, Crossroads, Katies, Millers, Rivers, Rockmans and W.Lane and operates about 1210 stores nationally.

ACCC Report: Mosaic Brands pays $630,000 in penalties over #COVID19 – related ‘health essentials’ and a copy of the undertaking can be found at https://www.accc.gov.au/public-registers/undertakings-registers/mosaic-brands-limited

ACCC REPORT:

The ACCC issued five infringement notices to Mosaic Brands in respect of alleged false or misleading representations relating to hand sanitiser and face masks advertised on Mosaic Brands websites and via direct marketing between March and June 2020.

Specifically, the infringement notices related to advertising by Mosaic Brands which stated that:

  • Air Clean hand sanitiser sold on the NoniB website contained 70 per cent alcohol, when a sample tested by the ACCC was found to contain 17 per cent alcohol;
  • Miaoyue hand sanitiser sold by Millers contained 75 per cent alcohol, when a sample tested by the ACCC was found to contain 58 per cent alcohol;
  • Velcare-branded hand sanitiser products sold on its websites were ‘WHO-approved’, when they were not;
  • KN95 Kids Safety Face Masks sold on its websites were ‘CE/FDA certified’, when they were not; and
  • KN 95 Adult Face Masks were” non-refundable”, when in fact consumers have a statutory right to a refund under the consumer guarantee remedies.

The ‘Health Essentials’ products were promoted at a time when COVID-19 restrictions were first announced by federal and state governments and there was intense public concern regarding the availability of sanitiser and face masks. Tens of thousands of hand sanitiser and face mask products were sold on Mosaic Brands’ websites. 

The products were marketed with phrases such as ‘Be prepared’, ’Stock up now before it’s gone’, ‘Remain Healthy’ and ‘Stay Safe and Clean’, as well as references to the pandemic such as ‘These are uncertain times and as the COVID-19 situation changes, we will be too’ and ‘It’s important we are all doing our part to protect the most vulnerable’.

“After a complaint from CHOICE, independent testing of the hand sanitisers commissioned by the ACCC found that one of the sanitisers tested contained an alcohol content of 17 per cent and another had an alcohol content of 58 per cent, below the percentage advertised on Mosaic Brands’ websites in each case.  This was also below the minimum 60 per cent alcohol concentration recommended by Australian health authorities,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

Mosaic Brands’ websites, such as NoniB.com.au and Katies.com.au, also advertised Velcare hand sanitiser with the tag-line ‘Protect yourself from viruses and germs during uncertain times with this 10 x Pack of 100ml WHO-approved Hand Sanitizer’. The World Health Organisation does not approve or certify hand sanitiser products. 

“Businesses must never mislead their customers about the certification, quality or properties of their products, but we were particularly concerned about the representations by Mosaic Brands because the statements which Mosaic Brands has admitted were false or misleading related to certain protective health properties at the time of a global pandemic,” Ms Rickard said. 

“Our investigation also found that Mosaic Brands’ Kids KN95 mask was not certified by European and US standard authorities as they had advertised.”

Mosaic Brands also signed a court-enforceable undertaking agreeing to refund customers under a redress program, implement a three-year compliance program and properly substantiate its claims with respect to hand sanitisers and face masks, including by independent product testing.

Mosaic Brands admitted in the undertaking that its conduct contravened the Australian Consumer Law.

Details of refund program to customers

Over the next three months, Mosaic Brands will identify and contact consumers who:

  • purchased sanitiser in the same batches as the samples which tested below advertised alcohol concentrations to arrange a refund of the purchase price;
  • purchased the KN95 Kids Safety face masks to arrange a refund of the purchase price; or
  • were originally refused a refund on the basis the product was non-refundable, and invite them to have their refund re-assessed.

In addition, any customer who purchased the Velcare product relying on the representation that the product was ‘WHO-approved’ can also apply for a refund. A corrective notice and further information about how to apply for a refund will be made available on the websites of Noni B, Autograph, BeMe, Crossroads, Katies, Millers, Rivers, Rockmans or W.Lane.

Note to editors

The ACCC can issue an infringement notice when it has reasonable grounds to believe a person or business has contravened certain consumer protection provisions in the Australian Consumer Law. The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law, which also sets the penalty amount.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration recommends that consumers seeking an effective alcohol-based sanitiser during the COVID-19 pandemic should look for formulations which include at least 60 per cent alcohol – https://www.tga.gov.au/hand-sanitisers-information-consumers 

In late 2020, the Consumer Goods (Cosmetics) Information Standard was updated with new requirements specific to hand sanitiser. Hand sanitiser manufactured from 24 May 2021 must display the amount of alcohol contained in the product, shown as a percentage (%) by volume.

Examples:

Image of hand sanitiser advertised online
Image of hand sanitiser advertised online

ACCC Infocentre: 

Use this form to make a general enquiry.

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: May.28: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) JUST IN: TGA REPORT: Pete Evans has been fined almost $80,000 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for repeated breaches of advertising rules around health products #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.26: Due to the repeated nature of the alleged advertising breaches, the TGA has also issued a directions notice to Mr Evans and his company to cease advertising therapeutic goods not entered in the ARTG [Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods] and to discontinue making various claims about therapeutic products,” the TGA said:

TGA fines Pete Evans’s company $80,000 for repeated advertising breaches: The controversial celebrity chef’s company was hit with six infringement notices totalling $79,920 and directed to take down “non-compliant advertising” relating to hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers, two oral medicines and a device called a BioCharger.

Pete Evans appearing in The Magic Pill documentary.

The products flagged by the TGA are no longer on the former My Kitchen Rules host’s website.(YouTube: The Magic Pill)

In April last year, Evans was slapped with a $25,200 fine from the TGA for claiming the BioCharger, described as a “subtle energy revitalisation platform”, could be used in relation to coronavirus, as well as a number of other unproven claims.

Evans’s company was also warned about a number of other products at the time.

In announcing the latest fines, the TGA said the products were being advertised for their claimed therapeutic benefits, but they were not included on the ARTG.

A machine that looks like a blender with electricity shooting out of the top of it.
Evans claimed this “subtle energy revitalisation platform” could be used in relation to coronavirus at the height of the pandemic.(Supplied)

The TGA also said the advertising for static magnet products and the hyperbaric chambers “implied the products were endorsed by a health professional”, which was a violation of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

Neither product is currently being advertised on Evans’s website but the blurb for a product called Q Magnets described them as “the world’s most powerful and effective therapeutic magnets”.

“Q Magnets are developed by experienced physiotherapists and neurologists and are designed to help provide comfort or temporary relief of minor aches and pains,” the website read.

“Q Magnets are the real deal and used by hundreds of sports players, physiotherapists, chiropractors, podiatrists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, rehabilitation professionals and individuals around the world.”

The hyperbaric chamber’s description said the product was used by a doctor who specialised in hyperbaric medicine, but also included a disclaimer that said the claims from the manufacturer did “not constitute a medical recommendation and [was] intended for information and educational purposes only”.

“No claims (real or implied) are being made,” it read.

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: May.26: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

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(AUSTRALIA) PRODUCT SAFETY RECALL ALERT REPORT: Has announced a recall of two popular Kia car models, citing an engine defect that could result in them catching fire even when not switched on #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – May.22: More than 57,000 cars are believed to be affected across the two models: Owners have been urged not to park the recalled cars in enclosed spaces, like garages, until they’ve been inspected and repaired:

Which Kia cars are being recalled and why are the engines failing? Here’s what we know: If your car is affected or if you’re looking for more information, you can find your closest dealer and all their contact details on Kia’s website.

The KIA logo is seen up close on a charcoal grey car.
The ACCC says affected Kia models are at risk of catching fire, even when switched off.(Flickr: Ivan Radic)

Here’s what we know about the recall, and how to find out if your car is affected by the announcement.

Which Kia cars are being recalled? 

Product Safety Australia has confirmed two models are involved in the recall:

  • Kia QL Sportage (2016-2021)
  • Kia CK Stinger (2017-2019)

The affected cars were sold nationally between April 2015 and October 2020, and Product Safety says there’s a total of 57,851 vehicles affected.

A list of vehicle identification numbers (VINs) has been released for both the Sportage and Stinger models to help identify individual cars involved in the recall. 

If your car is one of the models in question, you can enter your VIN into a checker on Kia’s website to see if it’s affected.

An image of a white medium SUV Kia car against a white background.
Owners of 2016-2021 Kia QL Sportages, similar to this one, have been urged to check if their vehicles are affected by the recall.(Supplied/Ryde Kia)
A white sedan with black accents photographed against a plain white background.
More than 1,600 Kia CK Stingers made between 2017-2019 have been affected, similar to this 2019 model.(Supplied/carsales.com.au)

What’s wrong with the engines in these models? 

The concern with the affected models is about the Hydraulic Electronic Control Unit, which Kia says can “remain live even when the vehicle is switched off”. 

If any moisture gets into that unit while it’s live, which could be well after drivers have turned the car off, it could cause a short circuit that may result in a fire in the engine compartment. 

“A vehicle fire could increase the risk of injury or death to vehicle occupants or bystanders, and/or damage to property,” the recall notice says. 

How will I know if my Kia has been recalled? 

Product Safety says Kia is contacting known owners of affected vehicles by mail.

But it’s a good idea to check the list of VINs or use Kia’s website checker to identify whether your specific vehicle is at risk, especially if you bought the car second-hand or aren’t in direct contact with the original dealer for any reason.

You can also call your closest Kia dealer, even if it’s not where you originally bought your car, for more info.

What should I do if my car is on the list?

Owners of affected vehicles have been urged not to park their cars in garages or other enclosed spaces until they’ve been inspected and repaired.

Owners have also been warned not to park near any flammable structures.

Kia says affected vehicles will be repaired by installing a revised multi-fuse in the engine relay department, which should help lower the risk of short-circuiting and fire.

This repair is free but it’s up to vehicle owners to organise a time, so if you’re affected, get in touch with your nearest Kia dealer to check availability.

#AceNewsDesk report ……Published: May.22: 2021:

Editor says #AceNewsDesk reports by https://t.me/acenewsdaily and all our posts, also links can be found at here for Twitter and Live Feeds https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/ and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com