Questions about American milk and bringing pot on planes: CBC’s Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

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

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Why the protest over more U.S. milk in Canada?

It’s mainly because of a hormone given to some U.S. cows, rBST, to increase milk production. It wasn’t approved for use in Canada because of concerns over possible health effects on cows. Milk containing rBST is already sold here and different labels aren’t required. If you want all-Canadian milk, look for a blue-and-white Dairy Farmers of Canada logo.

More online shopping is duty free

If you shop online you might be relieved to learn that the amount you can buy duty free from the U.S. and bring into Canada has been increased under the new USMCA (NAFTA 2.0) from $20 to $150. And more good news, you can now spend up to $40 before paying sales taxes.

Under the USMCA the amount you can buy from the U.S. and bring into Canada duty free has been increased. (Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

New, cheap flights to Mexico

One of Canada’s ultra-low-cost airlines is now offering flights to Mexico. Swoop has started selling flights from Hamilton or Abbotsford, B.C., to Puerto Vallarta for $159. Of course, that base fare doesn’t include additional costs for luggage, Wi-Fi or premium seat selection. The sunny-destination flights start in January.

Ultra-low-cost airline Swoop will offer flights to Mexico starting in January. (Canadian Press/WestJet)

How much pot can you pack? 

Once it’s legalized on Oct. 17, travellers can bring 30 grams of cannabis on domestic flights. Wonder how much that is? Well, that’s 60 joints that can be legally stashed in your bags (if you’re joints are half-grams). “I expected it to be a lot more strict, so 30 grams is awesome,” the regional manager of B.C. dispensary Weeds says.

Canadians will be able to bring up to 30 grams of marijuana on domestic flights once cannabis is legalized Oct. 17. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

What else is going on

A malware attack forced many chain restaurants to close earlier this week. Restaurants hit by the outage included Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Milestones, Kelseys, Montana’s, Bier Markt and East Side Mario’s.

Rising interest rates and debt levels aren’t putting the brakes on plans for holiday spending, according to an annual report from accounting firm PwC. It found consumers will spend an average of $1,563 this year, up 3.7 per cent from 2017. Most of the money reportedly goes toward travel, followed by gifts and entertainment.

This week in recalls and warnings

There are concerns about the airbag inflators on some Honda vehicles; Some EpiPen injectors may not work properly; This EQ3 chair could break from its stem; Loblaws chicken fries could contain salmonella and there are packaging concerns with these frozen vegetables.

Watch this week: The truth about trampoline parks 

In a national hidden camera investigation, Marketplace tests trampoline park safety and gets to the legal truth behind signing your family’s rights away on those waivers

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SOURCE: CBC.ca

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