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.


The History of Consumer Protection Scares

September 09, 2009

Cry Wolf Quotes

With respect to cigarettes, cautionary labeling cannot be anticipated to serve the public interest with any particular degree of success. The health hazards of excessive smoking have been well-publicized for more than ten years and are common knowledge…

Letter from Dr. F.J.L. Blasingame, AMA Executive Vice President, to the FTC’s division of trade regulation rules.

[Health labeling on cigarette packs] would interfere with freedom

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

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.

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

Senator Ervin calls the CPA [Consumer Protection Agency] bill ‘the most dangerous piece of legislation ever presented to the Congress.’ He warns that the head of CPA would have ‘the most tremendous powers ever granted to any many in the history of the United States.’… And he reminds everyone that ‘government is a parasite.’

Richard Lesher, Chamber of Commerce Publications.
01/01/1975 | Full Details | Law(s): General: Consumer

Backgrounders & Briefs

Good Rules: Ten Stories Of Successful Regulation

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


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.