Consumer Alert

Consumer Education and Research Centre
(Registered Public Charitable Trust)
October 2015                                                                                           Vol. 3   No.1


Shocking! Arsenic on your Lips and Lead in your Eyes 

Shockingly high levels of Arsenic in Lipstick and Lead in Kajal were found when CERC tested 12 brands each for safety against the standards set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). Read more

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The second issue of our magazine brings to you a Test Report on Cosmetics and tells you why not all calories are equal. It also guides you on how to write a consumer complaint and how to avoid the pitfalls of online shopping.

Should you buy Organic Turmeric? Read our next issue.
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  • Adani Gas revises arbitrary charges for defective meter
  • Samsung gives refund for fridge with damaged door 

If you have a complaint, email it to:


Hospital, doctor to pay Rs. 18.5 lakh for botched-up knee surgery

Postal authorities made to pay interest due in PPF account 


Wake up happier with these 10 bedtime habits 
Sleep is vital for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Adopt these ten good bedtime habits to sleep better and wake up well-rested and happy every morning. Read more


Bitter truth about neem face wash

Young boys and girls wish to have a clear, beautiful skin and advertisers for skincare products try to cash in on this fascination. As did the television commercial of Garnier Pure Active Neem Face Wash. Read more

Is your bed making you sick?

We spend one third of our life in bed. A good bed ensures not just good sleep but also a healthy life. It helps us relax and recharge. But what if our bed is making us ill? Read more.

Online shopping made safe
The convenience, wide choice and good bargains lure youngsters and busy professionals to buy everything from groceries, clothes to electronics online. But like every coin this too has a flipside.Read more 
Did you know that gossiping is actually good for you? And, slumping can cause headache. Read more
  • Service charges are retained by restaurants
  • RBI wants internal ombudsmen in banks
  • Advt cap on TV channels: I&B Ministry responds 
  • Windows 10 available for free
CERC organised an awareness programme at H.K. Commerce College, Ahmedabad to make students aware of consumer rights.  Also, the Energy Cell of CERS wrote to the authorities demanding compensation for interruption in power supply. Read more
Consumer Education and Research Centre
“Suraksha Sankool”, S. G. Highway, Thaltej, Ahmedabad – 380 054.
Tel: 079-27489945/6, 27450528, 27438752/3/4            Fax: 079-27489947

Toll-free Gujarat Consumer Helpline: 1800 233 0222       [from BSNL]

Send your feedback to:


Internet.Org: a lie in name and in intent

This Facebook effort is neither about the Internet, and nor is it a “.org” – the traditional domain for a not-for-profit.

It’s just about acquiring folks from the bottom of the pyramid as Facebook users. So Facebook can, over time, get that $8.65 more for each of them, while at the same time making sure that Google doesn’t get their $46 from each of them.

I’m no apologist for Google – but it’s interesting that the world’s gateway to the internet doesn’t feature in 10 of the 11 countries this Facebook effort runs in. And in the 11th, it runs in a way the user can search Google from within the free-data service – but has to pay for data to see the search results. Quite pointless, really.

But it’s not just Google. There’s no Alibaba, there’s no Amazon, there’s no eBay. No place these folks can buy, or sell or trade. There’s no Kiva or other bottom-of-pyramid money service. No loans they can receive. No government sites, no banks. No Coursera or EdX or Khan Academy – so it’s not about education either. Forget about entertainment – there’s absolutely none of that. And no LinkedIn, of course. You name any possible site of importance to someone who needs information and opportunities, and it’s not there. But, hey, I guess they you can always poke folks in the next village!


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6 Mediclaim Blunders To Avoid

Warning:You may be denied your claim even though you may have done nothing wrong

Financial planners tell customers to buy mediclaim of Rs5 lakh or more, to be covered adequately. While this is, indeed, good advice, planners do not tell customers about the shortcomings in the product itself which can mean that your claim may not be fully paid. Product drawbacks, like room rent limits or procedure sub-limits, can lead to partial claim settlement, about which you can try to get informed from the policy wordings. But what about things which are not defined in the policy but can still render the mediclaim useless? There could be complete rejection of claims, for no fault of yours.

You can only control what you know; but most of us cannot anticipate the various conditions which can lead to claims denial. We are highlighting some of the cases which we came across from Moneylife Foundation Insurance Helpline or emails received from Moneylife readers. Avoid the pitfalls which no financial planner or insurance advisor will tell you about. Nor can these be known from studying the mediclaim policy document.

Mediclaim is not a simple product. It’s not a product you can purchase and forget about. It is a product which will keep you on your toes. Unfortunately, insurance fraud is a reality and insurers’ steps to counter it may adversely impact an innocent policyholder. Read on to avoid blunders that can lead to rejection of claim or, even worse, make your mediclaim policy worthless. There are no easy solutions for some cases and even your best efforts for a fair claim can be met with unfair rejection by insurers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chemical Found In Colgate Total Toothpaste Linked To Cancer

A chemical found in one of North America’s most popular toothpastes, Colgate Total, has been linked to cancer and other harmful health ailments.

It’s called triclosan, it’s also used  in antiperspirants/deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers as a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent. In addition to cosmetics and Colgate toothpaste, triclosan is  used as an antibacterial agent in laundry detergent, facial tissues, and antiseptics for wounds, as well as a preservative to resist bacteria, fungus, mildew and odors in other household products that are sometimes advertized as “anti-bacterial.” These products include garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture fabric, and more.

A recent study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology found that the chemical encourages cancer-cell growth. Various studies over the past few years have clearly outlined the health dangers associated with this chemical.(1)

Don’t forget, the government and corporations used to tell us that asbestos, PCB’s and DDT were all deemed safe and effective, yet all of these chemicals have since been banned.

Triclosan can also pass through the skin and interfere with hormone function (endocrine disruption). (2)(3) It doesn’t stop there, a study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives from 2008 shows how scientists detected triclosan in the urine of nearly 75 percent of those tested (2,517 people age six or older). (4)

The Canadian Medical Association has even called for a ban on products that contain Triclosan. (5)

Colgate says that the chemical is safe, in doing so they cited the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)  process that led to its approval in the first place. But according to Bloomberg:

“A closer look at that application process, however, reveals that some of the scientific findings Colgate put forward to establish triclosan’s safety in toothpaste weren’t black and white — and weren’t, until this year, available to the public.” (source)

Believe it or not, these documents were actually withheld from public viewing by the FDA. It’s also important to note that major corporations and the FDA are pretty much the same thing, and these corporations have a big influence over government policy. The only reason that the documents were recently released is because of a lawsuit that was filed over a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The FDA report raised concerns that the chemical could cause cancer. You can view the release of the document HERE.

According to Bloomberg:

“The pages show how even with one of the U.S.’s most stringent regulatory processes — FDA approval of a new drug — the government relies on company-backed science to show products are safe and effective. The recently released pages, taken alongside new research on triclosan, raise questions about whether the agency did appropriate due diligence in approving [Colgate] Total 17 years ago, and whether its approval should stand in light of new research, said three scientists who reviewed the pages at Bloomberg News’s request.”(source)

Despite all the evidence, Colgate still maintains that everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about. Will you believe them? Will you continue to put your trust in these corporations instead of doing the research yourself? By now it’s clear that these corporations are not really concerned with safety or care, but more so about profit and making people sick, as well as contributing to the concealment of scientific data. The same shareholders that own these companies who are behind the distribution of these products are also holding major shares in various drug companies. There is profit to be had from making people sick.

Colgate has said that it has no plans to reformulate the toothpaste.

It’s remarkable how easy it is to head over to the drug-store to pick up cosmetics, household cleaning products, soap, shampoo, toothpaste and other necessities without ever thinking about how it’s made, what goes into it, the science behind it and the health hazards that are associated with doing so.

More information is coming to light, especially within the past few years. The rate at which people are waking up and starting to critically question what we choose to surround ourselves with on  a daily basis is increasing exponentially. Most importantly, people are starting to make better choices.



(2) Calafat, A. “Urinary Concentrations of Triclosan in the U.S. Population: 2003-2004.” _Environ Health Perspect _116, 3(Mar 2008):303-307

(3) Gee, RH et al. “Oestrogenic and androgenic activity of triclosan in breast cancer cells.” Appl Toxicol.28, 1 (Jan 2008):78-91



Original Story at

Adoption of New Bye-Laws is now compulsory

Please find attached the bye-laws adoption forms, notices, minutes to be recorded with the detailed procedure to be followed to adopt the new model bye-laws
With best regards
Ca.Ramesh Prabhu

Ramesh Prabhu <>, Sahana Prabhu <>

Co-operative Society Seminar

ALL INDIA CHS WELFARE ASSOCIATION has organised a Seminar at 10 am to 1 pm. on Sunday, 4th October, 2015. at :

Vile Parle Kelavani Mandal’s Mithibai Auitorium,
Vile Parle (West)
Mumbai – 400 049
Emphasis will be on CHA related Q & A.

All are invited.
No special invitations.

No special sitting arrangements.

Entry is FREE. Registration on spot.

J.B.Patel – Jeby
CHS Activist
Hemant Agrawal
Anil Patel
Vijay Patel


Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley : Resume DD TV SHOW – JANNE KA HAQ on RTI Act Now

Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley : Resume DD TV SHOW - JANNE KA HAQ on RTI Act Now

Why this is important
The DD program JANNE KA HAQ is the only Television program in India, India,- or perhaps in the world,- which is working for over nine years on RTI and transparency related issues from January 2006. I

t has been taking up various issues relating to Right to Information every weekend. Despite it being a DD program, it had consistently championed the cause of transparency. Its popularity was high specially in rural areas and small towns.It highlighted RTI successes and failures and was one of the important contributors to the empowerment of citizens in the direction of converting our nation into a participatory democracy.

Most institutions of power have been uncomfortable with RTI since the most powerless individual gains the power to challenge arbitrariness, wrong doing and corrupt actions.
This challenges the arrogance and ego even of those who may be honest, apart from threatening the corrupt.
This unique Janne Ka Haq program which has played an important role in spreading RTI in the nation has suddenly been stopped since two weeks RESUME NOW !!

Click Here to sign the petition


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