Consumer Protection

Is our food safe? What about the drugs we take? The cars we drive and the products we buy? Are the banks, credit card companies and lenders dealing fairly with us? In each case, federal agencies are charged with making sure the answer is “yes.” But examples of unsafe products and unfair practices abound in the marketplace.

For years, General Motors hid from regulators evidence that an ignition switch the company used in its Cobalts, Opels, Pontiacs, and Saturns had such a hair trigger that a light brush by the driver’s hand or knee would shut down the engine, disabling air bags and power steering. The resulting loss of control caused at least 13 fatal accidents. GM's ability to avoid detection for so many years says as much about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's weak enforcement record as anything.

Other examples abound. From tainted peanut butter to toxic drywall, to lead-laden imported toys, such instances of unsafe food, drugs, automobiles and products are all too dangerous evidence of a failed system of regulation and enforcement. Often the failure is the result of neglect – a lack of political will to spend the money required to conduct meaningful research and enforcement. Sometimes the cause is ideological: a conviction that safeguards interfere unduly with industry profits. Either way, the result is that industry is spared the costs of being accountable for unsafe production practices, shifting those costs instead to consumers in the form of injuries, illness and worse.

Below, see what CPR Members Scholars and staff have had to say about it in reports, testimony, op-eds and more. Use the search box to narrow the list.

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Plausibility Pleading: Barring the Courthouse Door to Deserving Claimants

Plausibility Pleading: Barring the Courthouse Door to Deserving Claimants, CPR White Paper 1005

Type: Reports (May 11, 2010)
PDF: Plausibility Pleading: Barring the Courthouse Door to Deserving Claimants (.5 meg download), CPR White Paper 1005, by CPR Member Scholars William Funk, Thomas McGarity, and Sidney Shapiro, with CPR Policy Analyst James Goodwin, May 2010.
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Author(s): Bill Funk, Thomas McGarity, Sidney Shapiro, James Goodwin
Tags: Twombly torts standing judicial review
Categories: Consumer Protection Consumer Protection

November 9, 2010, EPA's Toxic Chemical Database Woefully Out of Date Despite Obama Administration Reforms; Backlog Will Persist for Decades At Current Rate.

November 9, 2010,
Type: News Releases (Nov. 9, 2010)
PDF: November 9, 2010, EPA's Toxic Chemical Database Woefully Out of Date Despite Obama Administration Reforms; Backlog Will Persist for Decades At Current Rate.
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Categories: Consumer Protection Consumer Protection

June 2, 2011, CPR White Paper Explodes Industry Myths about BPA; Five Myths Intended to Muddle Facts, Cast False Doubt on Sound Science about BPA's Dangers.

June 2, 2011,

Type: News Releases (June 2, 2011)
PDF: June 2, 2011, CPR White Paper Explodes Industry Myths about BPA; Five Myths Intended to Muddle Facts, Cast False Doubt on Sound Science about BPA's Dangers.
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Categories: Consumer Protection Consumer Protection

Letter to OIRA re Chemicals of Concern listings

Letter to OIRA Administrator Cass Sunstein re Chemicals of Concern listings under TSCA

Type: Letters to Agencies (June 20, 2011)
PDF: Letter to Cass Sunstein re Chemicals of Concern listings
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Author(s): Wendy Wagner, Rena Steinzor, Noah Sachs
Tags: TSCA
Categories: Consumer Protection Consumer Protection Energy & Environment Energy & Environment Workers' Rights Workers' Rights

Rena Steinzor's testimony on industry efforts to delay EPA's toxic chemical risk assessments for the IRIS database

Rena Steinzor's July 14, 2011, testimony on industry efforts to delay EPA's toxic chemical risk assessments for the Integrated Risk Information System database

Type: Legislative Testimony (July 14, 2011)
PDF: Rena Steinzor's July 14, 2011 testimony on industry efforts to delay EPA's toxic chemical risk assessments for the IRIS database.
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Author(s): Rena Steinzor
Tags: IRIS
Categories: Consumer Protection Consumer Protection Energy & Environment Energy & Environment Workers' Rights Workers' Rights