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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 9. June 7, 1939

Consumers' Union

Consumers' Union

We have been reading a number of copies of the Consumers' Union Reports, published in America in the interests of consumers, and available to members of the non-profit organisation which publishes it.

Each issue deals with about eight different foods and commodities on sale in America. After a preliminary statement of the general position, a list of "Best Buys" is given, then a list headed "Also Acceptable." and finally a list headed "Not Acceptable." Needless to say, the third list, is the largest. Commodities such as vacuum cleaners, tomato juice, soups, automobiles, sunburn preventives, shoes, whiskies, dentifrices, and canned foods are exhaustively discussed, and the place of particular, brands in one of the three lists is settled after thorough scientific investigation. Reasons are always given for the inclusion of foods and commodities in the third list.

We noted with interest in the few issues we read—
A.Seven patent medicines on sale in New Zealand art included in a New York "Black List" as containing drugs injurious to health.
B.Only one toothpaste sold in New Zealand is on the "Also Acceptable" list (though of course there are many brands made and sold in New Zealand alone), and five well-known brands are "Not Acceptable."
C.Four Scotch Whiskies on sale in New Zealand are rated "Not Acceptable" on the basis or both quality and price.
D.That nose — drops, sold for the prevention of colds, have been proved to cause pneumonia when used by young children.
E.A brand of soap extensively advertised in New Zealand is "Not Acceptable."
F.That aspirin preparations, though reducing the fever and relieving headaches which accompany colds, have not the slightest effect in curing codls. The cause of colds is still unknown.

And so it goes on, pages and pages describing foods, etc.. which are consumed in enormous quantities in New Zealand, and which are either sold at far too high a price or are of definitely inferior quality.

Why can there not [unclear: be] similar publication in New Zealand?

The size of our population would necessities such a service being run by the State but pamphlets could be issued periodically and distributed regularly to every household in New Zealand.