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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

The General Assembly of the European consumer voice in standardization (ANEC), has appointed Professor Dr Lothar Maier as president for the term 2007–2009. Dr Maier is Professor of Consumer Policy at the University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg. He also has a long history of involvement with various German consumer information centres and is the chairman of the Consumer Council of the German Institute for Standardization (DIN). He succeeds Benedicte Federspiel, who served as ANEC president from November 1996.

Dr Christine Branche, of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, has been appointed Principal Associate Director of the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). She took up her new position at NIOSH in July 2007.

CANADA UPHOLDS BABY WALKER BAN

In June, Canada’s Minister of Health published the report of the board reviewing the ban on the supply of baby walkers. He announced his acceptance of the board’s recommendation to uphold the ban, thereby continuing the prohibition concerning the advertising, sale and importation of baby walkers. In March 2004, Canada became the first, and to date the only, country in the world to ban baby walkers. This prohibition was implemented for infant safety reasons and was based on analysis of injury data and laboratory testing of products. The provisions of Canada’s Hazardous Products Act were employed to put in place the prohibition. However, under the provisions of the legislation, a distributor of baby walkers requested that the Minister of Health establish a board of review to enquire into the nature and characteristics of baby walkers. In addition to its recommendation that the original ban on baby walkers be upheld, the board concluded that Health Canada had, in its decision-making on the product, “led and managed a methodical, comprehensive and objective review of all aspects of baby walkers”. …

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