Consumer Protection (1976)

“Let the buyer beware” remains a necessary maxim in our highly complex national market place of goods and services. Product safety controls are virtually non-existent, in a nation in which, annually, an estimated twenty million are injured, thirty thousand killed, and one hundred and ten thousand permanently disabled by products in or around homes and schools.

The absence of uniform standards of quality in many industries (automobile tires, for example) increases the difficulty of receiving full value for consumer expenditures. In an inflationary economy, this becomes an increasingly important concern for all, but especially for the underprivileged and the elderly, who are most susceptible to unfair consumer practices. Other products, such as prescription drugs, are, in most cases, purchased blindly by consumers who might even habitually compare prices in other areas.

To promote national safety and to improve the quality of American life, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism urges Congress to:

  1. Establish a permanent and independent consumer agency with powers of enforcement to:
  2. establish safety standards for manufactures goods;
  3. establish uniform standards of quality in industries which lack them;
  4. disseminate information to consumers to promote more intelligent consumption;
  5. advocate and safeguard the interests of the consumer when national legislation and policies are considered.
  6. Pass legislation which would:
  7. facilitate the use of the federal courts in consumer (and environmental) class action suits, to enable a group of people with a similar grievance to being joint action, thereby sharing the costs;
  8. provide adequate judicial machinery to expedite this procedure.