Sunscreen pulled from Belgian stores: factor 50 was actually 15

Sunscreen pulled from Belgian stores: factor 50 was actually 15

A sunscreen from a Spanish brand was pulled from the Belgian market by federal health authorities after it was found that the product overstated its sun protection factor (SPF) by more than half. The sunscreen, manufactured by Spanish brand ISDIN, advertised an SPF of 50, but a study conducted by consumer protection organisation Test-Achats found that its sun protection factor was no higher than 15. “We were informed [Wednesday] morning of the results of Test-Achat’s study,” a spokesperson for the Federal Public Health Bureau told SudInfo. “Our experts confirmed the…

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Internet scams on the rise in Belgium

Internet scams on the rise in Belgium

Over 7,000 reports of internet fraud were made last year in Belgium, a slight rise from 2017 figures which signals to an increasing number fraudsters choosing to operate behind the screen. The Belgian economic inspection received 7,082 reports from both private consumers and businesses, but the majority of cases concern citizens who report falling victim to fraudulent sales transactions online. Out of the total number of online frauds reported last year, 6,604 were from citizens and 478 were businesses. “The economic inspection notices an evident change, as fraudsters are increasingly…

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Lindemans brewery trades lorries in for water transport

Lindemans brewery trades lorries in for water transport

Lindemans brewery in Vlezenbeek just outside Brussels has decided to switch from road transport to waterways for shipments of its beers to the port of Antwerp for export. Lindemans is one of a number of brewers of lambic beer situated on the outskirts of Brussels – and in the case of Cantillon within the city itself. The beers based on lambic are much sought-after worldwide, as they are not only typical of an historic type of beer made by spontaneous fermentation using wild yeasts in the air, but also because…

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Belgium reaches new highs in foreign investment index

Belgium reaches new highs in foreign investment index

Belgium’s stance as a hub for foreign investment has progressed significantly, reaching its highest score and climbing up three spots in American management consulting firm A.T Kearney’s yearly investment index. The firm’s 2019 ranking places Belgium at the 18th spot in terms of its attractability to major foreign investors, placing it just above countries like New Zealand, Austria and Finland. Belgium’s improved stance constitutes one of the largest score increases of the year, which the firm attributes to “stable economic indicators,” noting that investors appeared “unfazed” by recent political turbulence…

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Brussels households spend 5.5 billion euros annually in retail

Brussels households spend 5.5 billion euros annually in retail

Brussels households spend nearly 5.5 billion euros annually in the retail trade, of which 3 billion for consumer goods, Brussels Enterprise Accompaniment Agency (hub.brussels) revealed today in a study. The Brussels-Capital Region totals 542,000 households. Each household spends on average 9,200 euros on retail goods per year. For everyday necessities, Brussels households prefer buying close to home, especially in privileged neighbourhoods such as Auderghem Centre (4.5%), Jette Centre (3.6%) and Uccle Centre (3.2%). Brussels households spend each year 1.5 billion euros on lightweight semi-everyday purchases such as clothing, shoes, books…

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Proof that Belgian arms sold to Saudi Arabia are being used in Yemen

Proof that Belgian arms sold to Saudi Arabia are being used in Yemen

Saudi Arabia is using weapons and arms technology in the civil war in Yemen, despite assurances given by the Walloon regional government when export licences were granted. Yemen is currently in the midst of an armed civil conflict after a 2017 Saudi-led coup against the government. A Saudi blockade of the country has led to famine, and the spread of a cholera outbreak that has now affected more than one million people. On issuing export licences for the arms deliveries from Mecar, a company based in Nivelles and FN Herstal,…

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Apple braces for EU investigation after Spotify complaint

Apple braces for EU investigation after Spotify complaint

Apple is bracing itself for a formal antitrust investigation by Brussels after the iPhone maker was accused by the music streaming service Spotify of anti-competitive behaviour. Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, is said to be poised to launch an inquiry over claims that one of the world’s most valuable companies has behaved unlawfully by abusing the dominant position of its of its app store in the market. Spotify, which has reached 100 million paying subscribers, alleges that Apple, one of its fiercest rivals alongside Amazon, is using the…

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Nine out of ten water-consuming companies in Flanders have no Plan B for drought

Nine out of ten water-consuming companies in Flanders have no Plan B for drought

Nine out of ten of the companies in Flanders which are the heaviest consumers of water have no back-up plan to deal with an impending drought, according to a study carried out by the Flemish chamber of commerce Voka. The region is facing a water shortage after an exceptionally dry summer last year, inadequately compensated for by rainfall in winter and spring. Reservoirs have not been refilled, and groundwater levels are low, in some places even very low. “We forget that we are sitting in a water-poor region,” commented Katrien…

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Flemish government warns of traffic problems as Oosterweel works start

Flemish government warns of traffic problems as Oosterweel works start

The Flemish government has warned of problems on the roads around Antwerp from next month, as works on the Oosterweel connection on the Antwerp Ring start for real. Until now, preparatory works have been taking place, but major works will start on the E17 in may, and on the E34 later in August. Those works promise to make themselves “seen and felt,” said the region’s mobility minister Ben Weyts. The Oosterweel connection, named after an abandoned village in what is now the port area of Antwerp, is a project that…

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Car manufacturers threatened with a 500 million-euro CO2 fine

Car manufacturers threatened with a 500 million-euro CO2 fine

Car manufacturers in Belgium could get a 500 million euro fine if they don’t meet European CO2 emission targets by 2021. Car manufacturers will have to pay the European Union a colossal fine if new cars still emit more than an average of 95g of CO2 per kilometre by 2021. It has been estimated the fines could total several billion euros. In Belgium alone, manufacturers could be facing fines totalling around 500 million euros. The Belgian car manufacturer’s union, Febiac, predicts that car emissions will have dropped to around 105g…

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