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ANSI Recognizes Tenth Annual National Consumer Protection Week

New York, Mar 04, 2008

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has joined a group of federal, state, and local government agencies and national consumer advocacy organizations to support the 10th annual National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). Celebrated from March 2-8, 2008, this year’s NCPW highlights consumer protection and education efforts in the financial arena.

From consumer products to identity theft and food safety, the U.S. voluntary standardization community helps to enhance consumer protections in many areas. As coordinator of this public-private partnership, ANSI enables and promotes voluntary standards and conformity assessment-based solutions that benefit public health, safety, and the environment. Through its Consumer Interest Forum, the Institute seeks active participation by consumer representatives in the voluntary standardization process, ensuring that public interests are protected and represented.

In keeping with this year’s NCPW theme, a report from the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) helps to arm businesses, government agencies, and other organizations with the tools needed to protect themselves and their customers against the theft and misuse of personal and financial information. Launched in September 2006, the IDSP was established by ANSI and the Better Business Bureau to compile a resource of standards, guidelines, and best practices related to identity theft prevention. [see related article]

Having fulfilled its original charter with the report’s release, the IDSP is now exploring how it might continue to address identify theft prevention and identity management with the ongoing support of issue stakeholders. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in a survey to gauge stakeholder interest; responses are requested by March 21, 2008.

But the need for consumer protection activities extends beyond the financial arena. In response to this summer’s spate of toy recalls, ANSI and the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) teamed to develop a new safety assurance program. Entitled the Toy Safety Coordination Initiative, the program prescribes procedures and provides audit mechanisms for design hazard analysis, auditing manufacturing process controls, and product safety testing. [see related article]

Public comments on the Toy Safety Coordination Initiative will be accepted until March 24, 2008. Interested parties are invited to visit to download the draft program and accompanying public comment reply form.

Standards and conformity assessment programs also ensure that consumers can have confidence in the safety and quality of the food they eat. Since 2004, ANSI has partnered with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) to provide a neutral, third-party verification for FMI’s Safety Quality Food (SQF) certification program. [see related article]

An ANSI-accredited, fully integrated food safety and quality program, SQF helps food suppliers to ensure that their products have been produced, prepared, transported, stored and handled according to the most rigorous international standards. For more information about SQF and other ANSI accreditation programs, visit

Several ANSI members played a key role on this year’s NCPW steering committee, including the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA), the National Consumers League (NCL), and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

For a complete list of steering committee membership or for more information about National Consumer Protection Week, visit

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