A European consumer plea to US
The fast-growing consumer movement in Western Europe is marking World Consumers Rights Day today (March 15) by sending an urgent plea to US consumers for greater transatlantic cooperation, Monitor contributor Gary Yerkey reports.
''Above all,'' according to Tony Venables, chairman of the Brussels-based Bureau Europeen des Unions de Consommateurs, ''we would like the American consumer movement to warn us of any dangerous products found on the US market which might be exported to Europe.''
The late President Kennedy declared March 15 World Consumers Rights Day in 1962 to highlight the basic rights every consumer should enjoy.
''Yet 21 years later,'' Mr. Venables told the Monitor, ''there is little to celebrate. The day is an occasion to warn against the threats to rights achieved so far.''
What has the West European consumer movement particularly concerned is President Reagan's decision to rescind an executive order enacted under the Carter administration requiring US companies to notify foreign governments of impending exports of dangerous products.
Mr. Venables said it is still difficult to say precisely what amount of hazardous substances is exported by US companies to Western Europe, or to say exactly how much damage is being done to the European consumer.
''We're just beginning to gather data,'' he said.