Consumer Product Safety

Consumer Product Safety

Consumer product safety became an animating political force on the national level during the 1960s. In 1972, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was created to regulate and, if necessary, recall and ban products deemed unsafe for the public. Many consumables are not covered by this agency, because other federal agencies already have jurisdiction over such dangerous products as cars, alcohol, guns, and pesticides. One of the CPSC’s major accomplishments was the ban on lead paint in 1977.

Commentary

The History of Consumer Protection Scares

September 09, 2009

Cry Wolf Quotes

There are bureaucrats in Washington who believe their judgment is superior to yours, as a consumer. So they want to “protect” you by insuring that the only choices open to you are those meeting with their approval. They are really a warmhearted bunch. Just a little conceited, that’s all.

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Arch Booth, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Newsletter. April, 1972.
04/01/1972 | Full Details | Law(s): General: Consumer

[L]egal costs alone of defending against class actions will impact disproportionately on small enterprises which rarely have the resources to employ the staff counsel uniformly found among larger companies.

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William B. Norris, Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Consumer Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee,” Chamber of Commerce Public Presentations.

This approach assumes that all consumers want the same thing. As others have pointed out, the ‘consumer interest’ is not a monolithic interest which is easily identified. While some consumers may want safe, high quality products, other consumers may wish to sacrifice these qualities for a lower price tag.

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Lawrence Kraus, executive of the Consumer Affairs Committee of Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Legislation and Military Operations Subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee,Chamber of Commerce Presentations to Congress.
10/09/1973 | Full Details | Law(s): General: Consumer

[Health labeling on cigarette packs] would interfere with freedom

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Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ). Only date available: 1964.

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

Demos looks at ten laws and rules that we take for granted.

Resources

Consumer Federation of America defends the consumer interest in fields ranging from housing and financial services to food safety. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration

(FDA) is the federal agency responsible for the testing and regulation of food, drugs, cosmetics, and medical devices.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the agency that oversees auto and highway safety regulations, auto recalls, and CAFE standards.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, health and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America's roads safer.