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

The class-action bill would open a happy hunting preserve to ambitious lawyers with a quick eye for the plump bird. They are not likely to be much concerned with fraud in the ghetto: No money there. But has a major manufacturer gotten a little too exuberant in his advertising? Has he promised a ‘benefit’ that may not be fully deliverable? Well, then, let us find 10 customers ready to say they’ve been damaged, and let us sue in the name of 10,000 more.

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James Kilpatrick, Chamber of Commerce Newsletter. August, 1970.

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

It is unreasonable to assume that existing bureaucratic lassitude will be corrected by establishing another layer of bureaucracy.

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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

[W]e believe that voluntary progress has been sufficient to warrant a continued extension of the legislative moratorium on warranties and guarantees. We believe that business should, and will, act to implement the ‘full disclosure’ warranties statement adopted last year by the Chamber.

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A.S. Yohalem, Chamber of Commerce Presentations to Congress

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.