‘Select’ Your Baby
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in Interesting Complaints
Successful advocacy with the Government by CERS led to a ban on an unfair trade practice.
â€˜Selectâ€™ is an ayurvedic tablet which claimed to do the unbelievable: change the sex of the fetus in the womb ! Just pop a few pills in the early months of pregnancy and the mother has a baby of the sex that she desires. Cashing on the age-old longing of mankind for a male child, M/s. Vasu Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd., Bajuwa, Vadodara, the manufacturer, advertised â€˜Selectâ€™ as a tablet which would help a woman get a male child. The advertisement went on to proclaim that â€˜Selectâ€™ supported family planning, discouraged the dowry system and fulfilled the coupleâ€™s desire for a male child.
This advertisement is an example of the ridiculous lengths a manufacturer will go to sell his products. Reacting to an advertisement in a leading Gujarati newspaper, CERS filed a complaint before the National Commission, New Delhi, against M/s. Vasu Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd. with the pleas that the manufacture and sale of â€˜Selectâ€™ be stopped, corrective advertisements be issued in all leading Gujarati and national newspapers, stating that the manufacturers had indulged in unfair trade practices for promoting the sale of â€˜Selectâ€™, and that consumers who had used â€˜Selectâ€™ as advised but did not get a male child, should have their money refunded. CERS lobbied with the Gujarat State Government requesting it to ban â€˜Selectâ€™.
On 5 June 1991, the Gujarat government took a landmark decision – it issued an order banning the manufacture and sale of â€˜Selectâ€™.
The â€˜Selectâ€™ case brings to light an important fact. Compared to long drawn litigation, advocacy with administrators offers a better, quicker and inexpensive remedy.
Lobbying too has been one of the major tools for CERS in resolving either individal complaints or issues of larger public interest.