Cat : Mouse :?: Consumer Reports : Pfizer
January 24, 2013 12:31 PM   Subscribe

Many libertarians claim that consumer advocacy groups and class-action lawsuits could do a better job of promoting the interests of the public than governmental regulatory bodies like the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With the current state of regulatory capture in the US, this should be a business opportunity, but I am not aware of any groups I can trust to help me avoid corporate fraud and malfeasance, such as adulterated foods, fraudulent bank charges, and clinical studies for pharmaceuticals being biased in favor of the interests of the sponsoring drug companies. I am looking for research (preferably high-quality, peer-reviewed work) on the relations between consumer groups/class-action lawsuits and corporations.

Let's say my bank decided to fraudulently charge every one of its customers $5 per month, and it would take 2 hours per month to catch and remedy fraudulent charges of this nature (disputing the charge, switching to a new bank, etc.). I would effectively earn $2.50/hour to keep on top of these scams, which is so low that it would not make economic sense for me to do it.

It would be even more ludicrous for me to independently test that the foods I eat are pure and the medicines I use are based sound science. With regulatory capture in its current state in the US, I don't trust the FDA to do this for me, which should open up an opportunity for consumer groups and class-action lawsuits to address these scams, but the power of Consumer Reports, Yelp and trial attorneys pales in comparison to the power of Bank of America, Pfizer and Wal-Mart with their lobbyists, PR firms and marketing departments. I have been able to find some research discussing these issues, but I am looking for recommendations for reputable textbooks or other sources for high-quality, skeptical research modeling the dynamics between consumer advocacy groups/class-action lawsuits and corporations in an ecological system.

Previously and related:

"Consumer Reports ... often focused on worthless but quantifiable metrics over actual usage"

"Consumers Union was cited in 1944 by the House Committee on Un-American Activities as a Communist front."

Gaming Yelp reviews

Perspectives on Predatory Lending

Defiant Consumers

Fake consumer group
posted by zinzin to Society & Culture

This post was deleted for the following reason: Please make this into more of a question and less of a post-by-proxy -- jessamyn

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