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Legislative Recommendations of Democratic Study Group Consumer Task Force



Legislative Recommendations of Democratic Study Group Consumer Task Force


Summary listing of legislative proposals for new and pending consumer measures recommended by the Democratic Study Group Consumer Task Force, Benjamin Rosenthal, Chairman.


Consumer protection--United States--Congresses
Rosenthal, Benjamin
Legislative materials
United States, Food and Drug Administration
United States, Federal Trade Commission


Democratic Study Group




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)




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United States


Legislative Recommendations of Democratic Study Group Consumer Task Force

March 12, 1971

Rep. Benjamin S. Rosenthal, Chairman
Rep. Joseph Karth, Vice Chairman

Rep. Shirley Chisholm (NY)
Rep. Joseph G. Minish (NJ)
Rep. Bob Eckhardt (Tex)
Rep. Patsy T. Mink (Hawaii)
Rep. Joshua Eilberg (Pa)
Rep. John E. Moss (Calif)
Rep. James M. Hanley (NY)
Rep. Neal Smith (Iowa)
Rep. James J. Howard (NJ)
Rep. Fernand St.Germain (RI)
Rep. Torbert Macdonald (Mass)
Rep. Robert O. Tiernan (RI)
Rep. Abner J. Mikva (Ill)
Rep. Lester Wolff (NY)

Following is a summary listing of legislative proposals recommended by the DSG Consumer Task Force for action in the 92nd Congress:

(*indicates amended bill; **indicates new bill)

*1. Consumer Protection Agency (HR 14, Rosenthal):
Titled the Consumer Protection Act of 1971, this bill establishes a statutory Office of Consumer Affairs and an independent Consumer Protection Agency. It provides for representation of consumer interests before federal agencies and the courts, coordination of consumer programs, release of government test data, continuation of the work of the National Commission on Product Safety, publication of a Consumer Federal Register, and other items.

2. Independent Office of Utility Consumers' Council (HR 4872, Tiernan):
Provides for the establishment of an independent agency to represent the economic interests of consumers of utility services before state regulatory agencies and the courts.

3. Grants to State and Local Consumer Protection Offices (HR 5035, Rosenthal):
Provides for federal grants-in-aid and assistance in establishing and strengthening state and local offices of consumer protection.

*1. Consumer Class Action (HR 5630, Eckhardt):
Affords increased protection to consumers by permitting and facilitating consumer class action suits in state and federal courts on matters which now involve sums too small to justify individual litigation.

*2 . Comprehensive Warranty Protection (HR 5037) Rosenthal):
Authorizes the FTC to set standards to guarantee comprehensive warranty protection, expressed in simple language, to purchasers of retail goods shipped in interstate commerce.

3. Door-to-Door Sales Regulation (Eilberg; to be re-introduced shortly):
Amends the Consumer Credit Protection Act to provide a right of rescission regarding sales not made at the seller's place of business.

*4. Eliminating Sales Promotions Games (HR 5038, Rosenthal):
Original bill prohibits manufacturers , producers or distributors from requiring
or encouraging any retail seller to participate in promotional games.
The current bill (HR 5038) would also prohibit a retail seller from engaging on his own in a promotional game in connection with the sale of any item.

5. Injunctions by FTC to Stop Deceptive Sales Practices (HR4809, Dingell):
Would give the Federal Trade Commission power to halt deceptive sales practices by issuing temporary injunctions rather than waiting for the outcome of lengthy"cease and desist” proceedings.

6. Home Improvement Industry Investigation (Halpern; to be reintroduced
Directs the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a comprehensive investigation of unfair methods of competition and unfair trade practices in the home improvement industry, and to expand its enforcement activities in this area.

7. Minimum Electric Power Reliability Standards (HR 3838, Moss):
Amends the Federal Power Act to promote adequate bulk electric power through regional coordination, consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the environment.

1. Wholesome Fish and Fishery Products Act (HR 979, Pepper):
Provides for continuous inspection of fish harvesting and processing facilities and fish and fishery products, including adequate intrastate inspection through federal grants-in-aid.

2. Drug Dating Act (HR 4422, Rosenthal):
Requires that prescription and over-the-counter drugs and vitamins which are determined by the FDA to be of a type whose effectiveness or potency becomes diminished, or which change chemical composition, after storage, be labeled as to the date beyond which the products should not be used.

1. Consumer Product Safety Act (HR 5518, O'Hara):
Establishes an independent product Safety Agency with regulatory powers to promulgate safety standards for household products.

2. Medical Device Safety Act (Foley, to be re-introduced shortly):
Amends the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to assure the safety, reliability and effectiveness of medical devices.

*1. Unit Pricing (HR 4425, Rosenthal):
Original bill requires retail businesses selling packaged consumer commodities to disclose plainly to purchasers both the retail price of the entire contents of such package, and the unit retail price of its contents per single unit of weight, volume or measure, on the package. Proposed bill in the 92nd Congress requires retailers to display unit price information either on the product itself or in close proximity to the packaged product. It would also-establish a dollar volume below which a retailer would be excluded from the provisions of the bill and allow state and city laws of similar effect to apply instead of the federal law.

*2. Open Dating Act [HR 8435](Rosenthal, to be re-introduced shortly):
Amends the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act to require a packaged perishable food to bear a label specifying the date after which it loses substantial quality.

**3. Prescription Drug Advertising Act (HR 4423, Rosenthal):
A new bill which would permit retailers of prescription drugs to publicly advertise prices of such drugs.

4. Better Labeling Act (HR 4427, Rosenthal):
Requires processors of packaged consumer foods to label these foods with nutrition statements, ingredient contents and other items.

5. Consumer Food Grading Act (HR 4421, Rosenthal):
Requires promulgation by the Department of Agriculture of a uniform system of retail quality grade designations for consumer food products based upon the nutritional quality and wholesomeness of food products.

6. Generic Labeling of Prescription Drugs (HR 5036, Rosenthal):
Requires that the generic or established name of certain prescription drugs appear each time the proprietary or brand name is used in the labeling and advertising of such drugs.

7. HR 8670: Food Labeling Act

1. Appliance Dating Act (HR 4424, Rosenthal):
Requires manufacturers of consumer durable products to label the month and year of manufacture on such goods those design or performance standards are changed on an annual or other periodic basis.

2. Performance Life Disclosure Act (HR 4426, Rosenthal):
Requires, under National Bureau of Standards regulations, that durable consumer products sold at retail to consumers, including appliances and electronic items, bear a conspicuous label disclosing performance life under normal operating conditions.

3. Durable Products Dating Act (HR 4428, Rosenthal):
Requires manufacturers to label the expiration date of the effective performance life of all durable consumer products which the National Bureau of Standards determines are subject to deterioration in storage.

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)


Democratic Study Group, “Legislative Recommendations of Democratic Study Group Consumer Task Force,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed August 16, 2018,