Protecting Consumers

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As I prepare to teach Consumer Behavior I have been looking for interesting news articles that show how government plays a role in improving the lives of consumers through regulation.  Given the current environment that disparages regulations as unnecessary and useless it is important to highlight how the government plays a key role in protecting consumers, but still allows business development.

Starting with how regulations help protect consumers… just this week a study was published showing that regulations reducing trans fat in foods leads to heath outcomes for populations.  Specifically NBC News reported that “there was an additional 6.2 percent decline in hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (heart attack) and stroke among populations living in counties with vs without trans-fatty acid restrictions.”  Here is a link to the video:

Trans Fat Ban Works

On the other hand, the FDA approved home DNA kits for sale in the US, allowing companies such as 23andMe to market their tests for diseases such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers.  These tests give consumers the opportunity to learn potential risks in their health – even when they may not be counseled by professionals.  In this case the regulations were reduced after scrutiny by the FDA.  Here is the link to the video:

FDA Approves DNA Testing Kits

Finally, Amazon will refund consumers whose children tapped apps and rung up fees on virtual products.  The fact that credit cards do not permit children to buy on their parents’ accounts helped set the tone for this decision to protect consumers.  This only came about because the FTC filed a case against tech companies to prevent them from continuing these charges. Once again, the government protects customers via regulations.  Here is the video:

Amazon Refunds Families

Regulations are not negative – let’s call them consumer protections and we can all agree we need a check on businesses when consumers are powerless against them.  That is why we must require the present administration to do its job and let the FDA and FTC do their work.

 

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