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Tampered infant formula, denying life insurance over anxiety: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

CBC's Marketplace rounds up the consumer and health news you need from the week, including non-disparagement clauses, tampered infant formula and life insurance denied over anxiety disorder.

Newsletter: Consumer and health news you need from the week

Bart Hos, left, and Norma Domenech in their new kitchen in their Ottawa home. The renovation took almost twice as long as expected. (Laura Osman/CBC)

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

Want this in your inbox? Get the Marketplace newsletter every Friday.

Cash rebate for no bad reviews

Would you agree to this? Online reviews can hurt or even sink a small business, so some are taking steps to protect themselves with non-disparagement clauses. An Ottawa woman says she wouldn't sign one after a major kitchen renovation went wrong, and now the contractor has refused to reimburse her the money she's owed.

Domenech and Hos said they haven't heard from the contractor since July 17, despite repeated attempts to reach them. (Laura Osman/CBC)

Quebec fighting for credit freeze protection

Canadians aren't able to freeze their credit files, but Quebec's finance minister wants to change that. Eric Girard says he wants Quebecers to have access to the best protection offered by the credit industry as the risk of identity theft grows with each data breach. A Marketplace investigation found credit monitoring does little to protect consumers as consumers are often not immediately notified about suspicious activity.

Life insurance denied over anxiety disorder

An Ontario man says Sun Life Financial denied his life insurance application because of his generalized anxiety disorder. An expert worries the practice could lead to applicants not disclosing their illness on applications, which could have serious legal implications down the line. A Sun Life spokesperson declined to share in what cases it would deny an application based on anxiety.

Robert Pugh, left, and his wife Amber, centre, decided to apply for life insurance when they learned they were expecting another child. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

Tampered infant formula found at Edmonton Walmart

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is cautioning the public after reports of tampering in an infant formula product at an Edmonton Walmart. The agency says infant formula products were found with broken tamper-proof seals and the product inside was substituted, but did not say which brand or brands may have been affected.

Emily Myrehaug bought Similac infant formula last month at an Edmonton Walmart she believes was tampered with. The container on the right shows the normal product, while the one on the left is the container she thinks was replaced with flour. (Emily Myrehaug)

Woman who sold fake handbags must pay luxury brands

A woman who sold counterfeit luxury handbags and apparel out of a Toronto-area home has been ordered to pay damages to Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and other well-known brands. Her defence? Her merchandise differed so substantially that reasonably informed people would not confuse them. The companies will be allowed to decide whether they should be paid damages or profits arising from the copyright infringements.

Real Louis Vuitton is seen at a designer showcase in 2009. A Federal Court has ruled a woman who sold counterfeit luxury goods must pay damages or profits to the companies. (Thibault Camus/Associated Press)

Turning plastic waste into fuel

Those plastic bags you have stored under the kitchen sink can now be transformed into diesel fuel and gasoline thanks to a technology dubbed the Phoenix. Backers of the project claim it can convert five tonnes of waste into 4,000 litres of fuel per day. Earlier this year, Marketplace looked at why supermarkets aren't doing more to reduce plastic waste.

What else is going on?

The latest in recalls

Marketplace is looking for parents and kids to take our test

Do you know what goes on at your child's school? We're looking for parents and their children in the Toronto area who are willing to take our test on camera — from who's your kid's favourite teacher, to what have they learned so far in sex-ed courses. We want to know how much parents really know — and this time, the kids get to do the grading. Please email caitlin.taylor@cbc.ca.

Are you the ultimate bargain hunter?  

Marketplace is looking for families or friends who are about to plan a vacation together. Do you know how to spot extra charges or hidden fees? Do you think you are a good negotiator? Perhaps you have what it takes to compete against other Canadians on Marketplace's vacation challenge. If you want to show our producers how you can beat the fees and get the best vacation deal, please email jenny.cowley@cbc.ca.  

Do you shop online?

Ever buy a brand-name product online and believe you may have ended up with a fake?  If so, we want to hear from you. Reach out to jenny.cowley@cbc.ca.  

What should we investigate next?

Our television season has wrapped, but you can catch up on previous Marketplace investigations on CBC Gem. From scams and misleading marketing claims to products and services that could put your health at risk, we are working on bringing you brand-new investigations this fall. If you have a story you think we should be covering, email us: marketplace@cbc.ca.

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