Comparative Testing Project: Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF)
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs extended its support to Consumer VOICE to test minimum 15 products in two years starting August 2016. This was primarily undertaken for consumers so that they can remain regularly informed on the quality of products and benefit from the findings of tested products. This would in turn help them to make informed choices on the products they buy.
- To generate awareness among consumers across the country on the quality of product.
- To help consumers make an informed choice based on the test findings.
- Finalisation of test labs - As these tests are sensitive and will affect both the consumer and the industry we needed to finalise NABL accredited labs.
- Identification of popular products and brands – A thorough market survey had to be done for identification of products which could be tested and also ensuring that all brands whether local or national were not left out.
- Timely delivery of test results before the publication Consumer VOICE magazine.
The methodology and processes of comparative testing are based on the guidelines and recommendations contained in the Report of the Sathi Nair Committee appointed by the then Ministry of Civil Supply & Public Distribution System and the MoU with Stiftung Warentest of Berlin, Germany.
Some of the major recommendations of Sathi Nair Committee on Comparative Testing include:
- Manufacturers should agree to procedures being followed in comparative testing.
- A weighting and grading plan to be evolved to suit Indian conditions.
- CT would be done on 10-15 models purchased from market.
- Samples from market to be based on market share of the company.
- In case of litigation, lab experts are expected to appear to witness the test findings.
The comparative testing has several stages involved in the process which includes development of the test programme, preparation for testing, sample selection and preparation, lab testing and finally lab results. For details on how comparative testing is done, click here
We have identified and finalized labs for comparative testing of following products:
Based on the technical writeup our editorial team prepared articles that were covered in our Consumer VOICE magazine and on the website.
VOICE Society has conveyed the key test findings of comparative testing to regulatory bodies and concerned Government departments for appropriate action. Letters were sent to Regulatory Authorities for taking action on deviation/variation observed in Packaged Drinking Water ( 1 Ltr. and 20 ltr. bottles) and Wheat Flour (Atta). Some of the ground breaking results that were found in our tested products include:
Packaged Drinking Water ( 1 Ltr. and 20 ltr. Bottles)
- 7 out of 17 brands tested were found not meeting the requirements of mandatory Indian standard
- Aquafina, Bisleri and Kinley were rated poor and Rail Neer topped in 1 liter packaged drinking water.
Wheat Flour (Atta)
- Bacteria (yeast & mould , Coliform) were found in most of the brands tested. FSSAI and BIS were requested to prepare standard for the microbiological requirement in wheat Flour.
Liquid Hand Wash
- 7 of the tested brands of liquid hand wash contain harmful chemicals which are effective in killing germs but weaken the immune system.
RO water purifying system
- None of the brands could remove E-coli and MS2 virus. In some of the brands level of removal of arsenic and mercury was below the specified limit.
- Iodine Value of brands Dalda and Sunpure was found lower than requirement
- 5 ISI marked brands namely Kenwood, Maharaja, Usha, Remson & Sunflame failed in safety tests.