• Germany edition
 
Consumer food ingredient website crashes on launch
Photo: DPA

Consumer food ingredient website crashes on launch

Published: 20 Jul 2011 08:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Jul 2011 08:55 GMT+02:00

The portal lebensmittelklarheit.de aims to offer clarity to consumers confused by labelling or advertising, according to Consumer Minister Ilse Aigner.

The site went online on Wednesday, set up by the national network of consumer advice centres and financed by Aigner’s ministry.

But it crashed almost straight away, with 20,000 requests a second overwhelming the server, according to a spokeswoman for the consumer advice centre in Hesse.

Whether this was due to a targeted denial of service attack could not be immediately ascertained, but it seems less than likely that all those requests were genuine.

The site says it will give consumers the chance to register products which have disappointed or confused them – and will offer producers the chance to enter a dialogue with shoppers about the products.

But Aigner is now being attacked from both sides, with farmers and the food industry accusing her of pandering to unfounded fears, and the Greens saying she is leaving consumers rather than producers with all the responsibility to highlight problems.

Chairman of the parliamentary agriculture committee Michael Goldman of the Free Democrats, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung that Aigner was doing nothing more than playing to the fears of consumers, while Matthias Horst, manager of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries said it was a pillory.

Goldmann said it would be dangerous to name specific products, although he admitted that some signs on food products could be useful to correct misunderstandings, “But that is a job for lawmakers and does not belong in the hands of consumer councils,” he said.

Horst said what he called claims about named products, or producers, would not be acceptable. “That is a pillory on which products will be shown up which are perfectly legal,” he said. He would not rule out legal action from companies concerned.

Yet Bärbel Höhn, deputy head of the Green parliamentary party, said Aigner had shown little backbone in her dealings with the food industry, and repeated calls for a simple labelling system showing a product’s salt, sugar and fat content. This has so far been rejected.

Nicole Maisch, Green spokeswoman for consumer policy said it was a step in the right direction, but that Aigner needed to be more active. “Deceptive packaging or deliberate confusion of consumers must be banned,” she told the Frankfurter Rundschau.

DAPD/The Local/hc

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Police free hedgehog, natural order restored
Pot luck for the Offenburg hedgehog. Photo: DPA

Police free hedgehog, natural order restored

Officers patrolling in Baden-Württemberg were confronted by a self-imprisoned hedgehog. READ  

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch
Overdue, overgrown. BER site stands idle amid delays. Photo: DPA

BER capacity already 'too small' at 2016 launch

The delay-hobbled Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) will already be overburdened when - or if - it opens in 2016 as passenger volume exceeds initial forecasts, it was reported on Tuesday. READ  

Stomach bug behind Berlin 'Ebola' scare
A doctor at the Job Centre in Berlin. Photo:DPA

Stomach bug behind Berlin 'Ebola' scare

Update: Around 600 people were held for several hours in emergency quarantine at a Berlin Job Centre on Tuesday after a West African woman collapsed with Ebola-like symptoms. READ  

Opinion
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Matthias Kock spent several years learning the Afghan ropes. Photo: Matthias Kock

Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life

After more than 3,400 foreign troops died in Afghanistan, 54 of them German, the international community in 2014 withdraws its combat forces to end a 13-year mission. Aid worker and ex-soldier Matthias Kock reflects on lessons learned and where the country is headed. READ  

Uber drives on in Berlin
Photo: DPA

Uber drives on in Berlin

The app-driven car service is allowed to carry on operating while courts consider its appeal. READ  

German journalists arrested in Ferguson
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, US. Photo: DPA

German journalists arrested in Ferguson

"To be arrested and yelled at and be rudely treated by police I had to travel to Ferguson and St. Louis in the United States of America," writes veteran reporter of his ordeal. READ  

Wild Wilma's gusts claims two lives
Photo: DPA

Wild Wilma's gusts claims two lives

Two people died in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern on Monday in a traffic accident caused by Wilma's winds. READ  

Party leader demands Lenin's head
The Lenin statue in Berlin's former Leninplatz. Photo: DPA

Party leader demands Lenin's head

Gregor Gysi, the leader of the federal socialist Left party, has demanded that the 3.5-tonne head of Lenin be dug out of its wooded resting place for an exhibition on Berlin's memorial landmarks. READ  

Merkel to visit Kiev after NATO Baltic summit
Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Merkel to visit Kiev after NATO Baltic summit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Ukraine Saturday amid international tensions over fighting in the east of the country, Ukraine's foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin announced Tuesday. READ  

Few workers in on new visa rules
Photo: DPA

Few workers in on new visa rules

Despite the ease of work visa regulations for non-EU citizens with certain job qualifications, few potential immigrants are taking advantage. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should.
Photo: DPA
National
Berlin's senate puts the brakes on Über
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: DPA
Culture
How I deal with my German Hausmeister
Photo: Ingrid Eulenfan/flickr
Gallery
Nine German treats you'll want to eat right now (and one you won't)
Photo: DPA
Society
Who's getting German citizenship?
Photo: DPA
Culture
How World War I changed Germany forever
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Can you escape work emails on holiday?
Photo: APA/DPA
Gallery
The 12 best words in Austrian German
Photo: DPA
Society
'Look at those German shanty towns!'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Five reasons to visit Oktoberfest (and five not to)
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,289
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd