New call for rights body
Consumer advocates have called on the government to speed up work setting up an independent body to ensure consumer rights protection.
Jumphon Chuanjitsiri, deputy chairman of the Independent Committee for Consumer Protection, said the body must have consumer representatives to work with the government and private sectors.
He said several consumer concerns have yet to be solved, including efforts to pressure the Public Health Ministry's Food and Drug Administration to implement the labelling of genetically modified foods and to prod the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (NBTC) to force telecom companies to collect mobile phone call charges on a per-second basis on every promotion package. Supaporn Thinwattanakul, a committee member, said the body could help spur other consumer rights protection bodies.
Saree Ong-somwang, secretary-general of the Foundation for Consumers, said 3,622 complaints were filed with the agency last year. Of these, 680 cases concerned with public health services, 626 financial issues, 553 with other public services, 541 with the media and telecoms, 450 health products, 138 with their living arrangements, and the rest other issues.