CONSUMERISM: The New Interventionists

Advocates of a federal Agency for Consumer Advocacy have never had easy going. Since 1970, bills to create such a watchdog have passed the House or Senate several times, only to wither in conference committees or under threat of a presidential veto. But persistence pays. Last week the future suddenly seemed brighter when President Carter, fulfilling a campaign promise, called for setting up a federal body to guard consumer interests.

The statement amounted to a presidential endorsement of bills also introduced last week in both houses, and cheered congressional sponsors enough for them to predict quick passage. That may prove...

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