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Consumer Testing and Protection Agencies

The consumer testing movement is concerned with the testing of branded goods and services to advise purchasers of their relative value for money. It began in the United States in 1927, when a civil servant for the Labor Bureau, Stuart Chase, and an engineer, F. J. Schlink, published Your Money's Worth, a critique of the exploitation of the consumer in the modern marketplace. This led to the establishment of Consumers' Research, which began publishing its Bulletin in 1929, though it was soon taken over in 1936 by Consumers Union (and its magazine, Consumer Reports) following a dispute over labor relations among Consumers' Research staff. Both organizations were a product of a burgeoning consumer culture, though one in which affluent—if nervous—shoppers sought more guidance in ...

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