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FG 171 (National Commission on Product Safety)

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These Presidential historical materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify private or personal as well as non-historical items. Such items, if found, have been withdrawn for return to the individual with primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by this act have been archivally processed and are described in this finding aid. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) has been placed in the front of each folder describing each withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restrictions. Classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear measurement of materials:   6 in.
  • Number of pages:   1,241

Organization Information

The National Commission on Product Safety was established by P. L. 90-146 dated November 20, 1967, as amended by P. L. 91-51. The Commission was a presidential advisory committee and was terminated in June.

The Commission was established to conduct a comprehensive study and investigation of the scope and adequacy of measures being employed to protect consumers against unreasonable risks of injuries, which may be caused by hazardous household products. In addition, Congress asked the Commission to find answers to the following questions: What is the measure of exposure of American consumers to unreasonable product hazards? Which specific categories of products present such hazards? To what extent does self-regulation by industry, afford adequate protection against such hazards? To what extent do federal, state and local authorities and the common law protect the consumer against such hazards? The Commission was directed to submit a report of its findings, conclusions and recommendations to the President and the Congress at the end of its study. 

The Commission recommended the establishment of a Consumer Product Safety Commission which could set mandatory consumer product standards, employ a range of methods to secure compliance with its safety measures and administer sanctions to any violations of its measures and obtain data or expert opinion about consumer products. The Commission also suggested the creation of an Injury Information Clearinghouse; accrediting private laboratories to test products for compliance with specific product safety standards; allowing consumer who have been injured by products which violate federal safety standards to file claims for damages, as well as class actions, in the district courts of the United States and denying entry to imported products which violate consumer product safety standards.

The Commission was composed of seven members specially qualified by virtue of their education, training or experience who were appointed by the President. In addition to its own staff, the Commission used the service of a number of contractors for insight into specialized fields. The Task Forces included Product-Injury Identification, Industry Self-Regulation and Legal Analysis.

The Commission submitted its final reports the President and the Congress on June 30, 1970.

Scope and Content Note

The records consist of correspondence, memoranda, interim reports, final reports and clippings. Primary correspondents include President Richard M. Nixon and White House staff members Charles B. Wilkinson, Kenneth R. Cole, Edward L. Morgan, Peter M. Flanigan, Virginia H. Knauer, Robert H. Finch, Jonathan Rose, John D. Ehrlichman and Arnold B. Elkind, Chairman,
National Commission on Product Safety.

The terms "Executive" [Ex] and "General" [Gen] are used before the code FG 171 to identify the source of the materials within a specific file. The files designated [Ex] are communications between national, foreign, state and local governments and their agencies, members of Congress and other prominent people. Files designated [Gen] are communications between government officials and private citizens, institutions and other private interests.

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