In the last couple of generations, regulation has exploded, with harmful effects on both our freedom and the economy. One of the areas of regulation involve rules that are designed to protect consumers from being harmed by the products that they purchase. Yet, there is a strong argument that these regulations are largely unnecessary.
Free market advocates generally argue that much of this regulation is not needed – that the market will develop mechanisms for protecting consumers. The reputations of sellers and brand names provide strong incentives for sellers to provide safe and effective products. Moreover, private companies, such as consumer reports, can also test the products and sell the information to consumers.