CHOICE readers have cast their votes on the top 10 most significant consumer issues ever reported over its three decades of publication.
The event was organized by the Consumer Council to mark the 30th anniversary of the publication of its monthly magazine CHOICE.
Readers were invited to choose and vote for the top 10 issues, out of a select total of 20, reported in the past 30 years in CHOICE that in their view had the greatest significance and impact on consumers.
CHOICE made its debut in November 1976 and has since been in publication every month, providing independent and research-based information and guidance on goods and services, and topics of interest and concern to consumers.
CHOICE is now developed into a multi-media publication available in both print and online accessible through internet, fixed line and mobile phone networks - the first consumer organization in the world to provide such a full range of multi-media information access.
Results of the voting which drew a total of some 890 readers between October 13 and 31, are as follows in their ranking order:
(1) Household Electrical Appliances (675 votes)
(2) Genetically Modified Food (674)
(3) Edible Oil (646)
(4) Supermarket Pricing (565)
(5) Slimming and Body Fitness (558)
(6) Contamination of Seafood (551)
(7) Credit Cards (533)
(8) Breast Enlargement PAAG (514)
(9) Water Treatment Devices (494)
(10) Condoms (461)
The top honour went to CHOICE reporting on the safety (and performance) of a wide range of household electrical appliances such as electric fans, room and water heaters, etc. The consistent reporting of these products culminated in the eventual enactment of the Electrical Products (Safety) Regulation in 1997.
Following closely in second place was the global controversy over genetically modified food. CHOICE was amongst the first publications in Hong Kong to raise the public awareness of this important issue with a series of tests on GM food available to consumers in the Hong Kong market.
In the third place was one of the daily essential foodstuffs - edible oil, the subject of the Council's first comparative product testing for the inaugural issue of CHOICE in 1976, radically changing consumers' reliance on product information solely from the manufacturers, to a new era of independent and impartial market information for consumers.