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A Six-Point Consumer Agenda To Close Growing Gaps In Marketplace Protections

It has been over 40 years since President John F. Kennedy first articulated a “Consumer Bill of Rights.” He said that consumers deserve the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose and the right to be heard. Other rights have since been added, most importantly the right to redress. The consumer protection and public health and safety regulations derived from that bill of rights enable Americans today to enjoy relatively safer automobiles and consumer products, purer food and drinking water, more reliable drugs and medical devices, a cleaner environment and safer workplaces than in the past. Nevertheless, the work is far from finished. Even worse, special interests have launched an unprecedented assault on existing protections, have prevented enactment of crucial missing safeguards and have aggressively sought to limit state authority to enact stronger laws, even where no federal law protects consumers.