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

If there is to be a caution notice….It should be stated in a way which reflects the lack of definitive clinical and laboratory scientific evidence on the relationship between smoking and health.

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

[The legislation to permit consumer class actions] “is only nominally an act ‘to extend protection against fraudulent or deceptive practices.’ It is more accurately an act to line the pockets of ingenious attorneys. If this bill passes, the lawyers will be in high cotton; their client consumers will be still hoeing the short row.

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

‘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.

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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

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.

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

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.