Powerhouse Museum Opens Consumer power: 50 years of Choice

Consumer power: 50 years of Choice looks at the role of Choice in empowering consumers to get the most out of their purchasing decisions and to demand better products and standards of service.

From humble beginnings in 1960, the membership-funded consumer organisation now has over 200 000 members and is the leading consumer advocacy group in Australia.

The display looks at the impact the organisation has made in exposing shonky products, its role in consumer advocacy and campaigning, and peeks inside the Choice testing labs.

Choice is a major contributor to improving safety standards for many children’s products including toys, high chairs, strollers, and cots. See a cross bow that didn’t make the market place, probes used to test for entrapment hazards in cots and strollers, and a toy that could become a lethal choking hazard for small children.

The independent and rigorous testing process undertaken by Choice on a wide range of consumer products is explored. See the ‘hedgehog’, a custom made piece of testing equipment from the Choice test kitchen, as well as a standard 7kg washing load – how big do you think it really is?

The display also takes a closer look at some everyday food items – are they really what they seem? Date stamping, ingredient labelling and nutrition information on foods is something we now take for granted, however since the 1970s Choice has campaigned for consumers to have access to this important information.

The important role of the organisation in advocacy is explored through the Bowin heater legal test case; a landmark case from the 1990s that gave Choice greater power to act on behalf of consumers.

Consumer power: 50 years of Choice opens on 26 November 2010.

The Powerhouse Museum, part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, presents exhibitions and programs based on the ideas and technologies that have changed our world, and the stories of the people who inspire and create them

The Powerhouse Museum is located in Darling Harbour, Sydney. Its diverse collection, built up over more than 125 years, spans history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration. The Museum has an extensive range of education services, operates a members organisation and a volunteer program.

Powerhouse Museum 500 Harris Street Ultimo, PO Box K346 Haymarket, Sydney NSW 1238, Australia

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