Can Law Students Make a Difference in Consumer Law?

by Jeff Sovern

In his new book, Federal Trade Commission Privacy Law and Policy, Chris Hoofnagle writes (at page 137) about a 1971 petition by five GW law students to the FTC. The students urged the Commission to bar companies from making unsubstantiated claims and to require that chemically identical products be labeled to indicate that all products of that class are identical.  Hoofnagle then reports on an FTC Bayer aspirin case requiring Bayer to disclose its ingredients and forbidding claims that Bayer is more effective than other aspirin.  The implication is that the law students contributed to, if not caused, a change in the FTC's doctrines.

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