Consumer Issues

Marketing practices, worldwide, have a tremendous impact on how producers influence consumers to purchase their products. To do their jobs, they have to have a good idea about what makes people want to buy and consume. Most often, their focus is on why a consumer would choose a particular brand of a product, at a particular time and place. Social science research, primarily from psychology and sociology, forms the basis for the standard marketing view of consumer behavior.

Consumers, on the other hand, increasingly are finding a real need for balanced, factual and science-based information about the products they want to make decisions about when they want and need something. Such consumer issues need to recognize and understand policy drivers related to such things as, for example:

  • Toxic substance properties;
  • Resource use;
  • Recycling; and
  • Impact and on climate change, or all among a variety of drivers.

The Encyclopedia's broad educational focus recognizes the need for balanced, science-based assessment and communication approaches in its reporting of "Consumer Issues” to its users.

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Bacteria Last Updated on 2014-10-12 18:54:28 Bacteria are any of a very large group of single-celled microorganisms that display a wide range of metabolic types, geometric shapes and environmental habitats—and niches—of occurrence.  Normally only several micrometers in length, bacteria assume the form of  spheres, rods, spirals and other shapes. Bacteria are found in a very broad gamut of habitats; for example, bacterial extremophiles that thrive in such places as hot springs, arctic environments, radioactive waste, deep sea oil seeps, deep Earth crustal environments, hypersaline ponds and within other living organisms. There are approximately 50 million bacterial organisms in a single gram of typical surface soil. The worldwide bacterial biomass exceeds that of all plants and animals on Earth. However, the majority of bacteria have not yet been characterised, Bacteria are members of the prokaryote... More »
Ricin Last Updated on 2014-06-30 13:49:34 The Director's Emergency Operations Center at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has assembled basic information about the toxin ricin. You can find more detailed information on the CDC's Ricin Homepage. Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, the released ricin can cause injury. Ricin can be made from the waste material left over from processing castor beans. It can be in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid. It is a stable substance under normal conditions, but can be inactivated by heat above 80 degrees Centigrade (176 degrees Fahrenheit). Castor beans are processed throughout the world to make castor oil. Ricin is part of the waste “mash” produced when castor oil is made. Ricin has been used experimentally in medicine to... More »
Healthy Community Design Last Updated on 2014-06-29 19:10:40 The way we design and build our communities can affect our physical and mental health. Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community planning, transportation, and land-use decisions. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that healthy community design can improve people’s health by: Increasing physical activity; Reducing injury; Increasing access to healthy food; Improving air and water quality; Minimizing the effects of climate change; Decreasing mental health stresses; Strengthening the social fabric of a community; and Providing fair access to livelihood, education, and resources. According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity. A healthy community as described by the U.S. Department of Health and... More »
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