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

‘Consumer interest’ is an amorphous concept, made up of many competing elements, and the CPA [Consumer Protection Agency], time and again, will be called upon to make paternalistic judgments as to what is best for 200 million American consumers.

-
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

The class action concept is misdirected and does not meet the overriding need of establishing a workable method to prevent frauds and deceptions. At best, class actions are only remedial to the consumer. At worst, they are a deceptive promise of prevention which the consumer is unlikely to see fulfilled. This is especially true of the low-income consumer who is the typical prey of unscrupulous operators, particularly in inner-city areas.

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

These bills, if enacted, will have a profound impact upon this great industry. Unwise legislation in this field could produce repercussions which would be felt throughout the country’s economy. I am confident that the Congress will exercise great care before taking any action which would seriously disrupt this important industry….We are strongly opposed to these bills. We do not believe that any governmental action is necessary or called for with respect to cigarette advertising or labeling.

-
Bowman Gray Jr., chairman of R. J. Reynolds’ board.

To the extent that [this legislation] seeks to make varying warranties fit into identical standards, it discourages competitive diversity from coming into play, and to that extent fails to serve the interests of either consumers or business.

-
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.