October 31, 2011
Washington, DC—The National Consumers League mourns the death this month of Virginia Knauer, who served as head of the Office of Consumer Affairs under Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and Ronald Reagan. Knauer was a friend and colleague of the League, and she spoke out on a range of consumer issues that are as important today as they were in 1969 when she was appointed.
“Ginny Knauer was an important ally in the fight for consumer protection. She called for consumers to have the right to bring class-action suits, not just in states, but in federal courts; she argued for a comprehensive system of product safety standards and simpler language in product warranties,” said Jane King, NCL’s Board Chair. “She was ahead of her time.”
Anna Flores, who serves on NCL’s Board of Directors and worked with the staff at the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, said about Knauer: “She used the bully pulpit on behalf of consumers in speeches around the country—including her observation that ‘the consumer is getting fed up with shoddy material, poor quality, unsafe products, bad service, weak warranties, lack of adequate information’. Her voice on behalf of consumers was very important; indeed, this is a voice that is sorely missing in today’s political discourse.”
Knauer called herself a “pipeline to the President for consumers” and she certainly was. She served as spokeswoman for consumer rights and protections during an important period in American history. While NCL is saddened by the passing of Virginia Knauer, the League gratefully acknowledges Knauer’s unflinching advocacy on behalf of consumers.
About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.