FTC Hosts International Consumer Protection Forum

Week-long 'Consumer University' Meets in Washington, DC

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In an ongoing effort to combat cross-border fraud and promote global consumer protection, the Federal Trade Commission will host officials from nine Latin American countries for a “Consumer University” training session to discuss consumer protection issues and enforcement strategies.  FTC experts and representatives from the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Department of State, and the Pan American Health Organization will discuss their approaches to meeting consumer protection challenges, and the nine visiting agencies will share their experiences.

The week-long training session will take place from March 28 to April 1 and focus on health-related consumer matters such as deceptive food advertising, childhood obesity, “miracle” health claims, and dietary supplements.  Topics also will include consumer privacy, cross-border dispute resolution, product safety, food labeling, and consumer education.

This conference is a part of a larger project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development involving the Central American Free Trade Agreement countries, plus Panama, Peru, and Colombia.  This initiative strengthens ties between the FTC and Latin American consumer protection and competition agencies, increasing cooperation in law enforcement and policy work.

“Consumers throughout the Americas are being targeted by scammers with cross-border schemes who seek to deceive all members of our communities, so regional law enforcement cooperation is a vital part of the FTC’s consumer protection agenda,” said Commissioner Edith Ramirez, who opened the conference with the keynote address.

This week’s Consumer University will include agency officials from Costa Rica, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.  “Like” the FTC on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter.  

(Consumer University FYI)

Contact Information

Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs

Deon Woods Bell
Office of International Affairs