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

Class actions constitute a grave economic hazard to business—and the magnitude of the threat is likely to be in inverse relationship to the size of the business. Indeed, the effects on small businesses would be particularly catastrophic if not fatal.

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

The truly attractive targets would be the overwhelming majority of businesses which are honest, ethical, and legitimate—large companies because of their assets and small merchants because of their vulnerabilities.

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

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.

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

To many groups, the [Consumer Product Safety] Commission’s actions, to date, appear to project an anti-business bias. The Commission too frequently seems to forget that government does not have a monopoly on concern for product safety.

-
Nancy Nord, Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Subcommittee on Consumer, Senate Committee on Commerce, 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.