Counterfeit crackdown; cannabis costs: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

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Miss something this week? Don’t panic. CBC’s Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need.

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We bought dozens of products from AliExpress, Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Wish. Over half were suspected fakes.

Canadians are spending tens of billions of dollars each year shopping online. But a Marketplace investigation found you can’t always trust the product descriptions, even when they appear to be legit. We tested dozens of products purchased from popular online retailers and found many suspected and confirmed counterfeits. We also took some products to our labs, including alleged Kylie Cosmetics and MAC makeup products, and found levels of dangerous metals well over the recommended limit from Health Canada. Read more.

Some of the products tested by Marketplace. (CBC) Windsor, Ont., wants to be the 1st Canadian city to sign a deal with Amazon’s Ring. But privacy concerns abound.

An increasing number of U.S. police forces are embracing Amazon’s consumer technology — like Ring doorbell cameras — as a low-cost solution to help fight crime, and now Windsor, Ont., is thinking of getting in on the action. But some privacy experts, like University of Windsor Prof. Bonnie Stewart, are worried about the implications. She says Ring’s police partnerships amount to “building a surveillance infrastructure that looks back at us.”  Read more.

A Ring doorbell camera is attached to the outside wall of Ali Chahine’s home in Livonia, Michigan. (Thomas Daigle/CBC) Cannabis extract prices vary ‘wildly’ between provincially run stores

A CBC News analysis has revealed the price of cannabis capsules, sprays and oils varies widely across Canada, with the same product sometimes costing two to three times more in one provincially run online store than another. Daniel Bear, a drug policy expert at Humber College in Ontario, says inconsistent pricing from province to province is detrimental to the goal of wiping out the illegal market. Read more.

High prices for cannabis extracts, capsules and oils have Jessica Nudo rationing her use. She’s seen the price fluctuations and can’t figure out why one product would cost so much more in one province than another. (Michael Rich/CBC) Coronavirus just beginning to hurt Canadian economy, experts say

Business, retail and tourism experts say COVID-19, the newly identified coronavirus, has begun to hurt businesses in Canada, but its full impact won’t be clear for some months. Jim Danahy, CEO of CustomerLAB, a retail consulting firm in Toronto, said the effects will be worse than those of SARS in 2003 because Chinese manufacturing has quadrupled since then. Read more.

Roger Gingerich, a fashion broker for Canadian company Maholi Inc., said the brand’s down jackets are sewn in Toronto but cannot make it into stores to be sold because the small metal labels that appear on the sleeves of the jackets come from China. (Lorenda Reddekopp/CBC) What else is going on?

Babies frequently exposed to cleaning products at higher risk of asthma: study
New research suggests frequent exposure to common household cleaning products can increase a child’s risk of developing asthma.

Ottawa unveils new mortgage stress test rules that will make it easier to pass
Starting in April, the government will change the rules that cover mortgage lending in a way that should, in the short term at least, make it easier to qualify for a loan to buy a home.

Pier 1 Imports files for bankruptcy protection, will close all Canadian stores
Home goods retailer Pier 1 Imports Inc. announced Monday it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, a month after saying it would close all its stores in Canada.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearings are expected to be a showdown between the nation’s big mobile wireless providers — Bell, Rogers and Telus — and smaller providers who are bent on shaking up what some call an oligopoly-style market.

 

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