Government Agencies that Protect the Public From Illegal Business Practices

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  • 0:01 Government Regulatory Agencies
  • 0:38 Federal Trade Commission
  • 1:24 Environmental…
  • 1:57 Food and Drug Administration
  • 2:40 Consumer Product…
  • 3:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
The public has to be protected from illegal business practices. In this lesson, you'll learn about the four government agencies that monitor, protect, and prevent corporate America from taking advantage of consumers.

Government Regulatory Agencies

Who protects the public from illegal business practices? In the United States, government regulatory agencies are tasked with protecting society from illegal business practices. Primary agencies include the FTC, EPA, FDA, and the CPSC. You can think of them like a team of superheroes protecting citizens from companies that might consider acting like villains. In this lesson, you will learn about each government regulatory agency and how they protect consumers' interests. Let's take a look at how each agency operates.

Federal Trade Commission

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was initially created in 1914 as an agency that wielded a weapon against antitrust. Eventually, the commission's powers were enlarged to also protect consumers against false advertising and fraud.

There are many specific areas that the FTC has targeted in respect to the protection of the public. For example, the most recent areas of concern have been toward businesses advertising to children. The FTC has made vitamin companies refund over $425,000 to consumers who purchased products with recognizable kid characters. The vitamins were advertised with misleading information that claimed false health benefits.

Environmental Protection Agency

Another superhero agency that was launched to protect the public from business is the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA was created to protect human health and the environment from unethical business practices. This organization has been very active in fighting to protect our environment and remediate areas that were contaminated by companies. For example, the EPA passed the Safe Drinking Water Act to protect the quality of consumers' drinking water through the creation of quality standards.

Food and Drug Administration

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for the safeguarding of public health by monitoring drugs, medical devices, and cosmetics. The administration also helps improve consumers' health through advancing drug innovation. Lastly, they also are involved in counterterrorism by protecting our food supply and watching for the development of public health threats.

For example, the FDA has announced that there is a burgeoning amount of false claims from companies suggesting that they have a product that will cure or safeguard consumers against the Ebola virus. The FDA issued a severe warning to prevent consumers from being scammed and purchasing products which do not work.

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