Rospotrebnadzor, Explained

Rospotrebnadzor, Explained
Who is helps citizens with Russia's coronavirus response? Image by via Wikimedia Commons

From deciding what school children can eat to regulating tipping practices, one state agency is both prevalent in the news and quite a mouthful to pronounce: Rospotrebnadzor.

What is the story behind this government agency, and why is it so often referenced in questions of public policy?

Here is a brief breakdown.

The agency’s full name is the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing («Федеральная служба по надзору в сфере защиты прав потребителей и благополучия человека»). The shortened name comes from the beginnings of the Russian words for “Russian” («российский»), “consumer” («потребитель»), and “oversight” («надзор»).

It was founded in September 1922 and underwent some smaller changes throughout the decades to become its current form, which reports directly to the government of Russia.

According to the agency's website, the goal of Rospotrebnadzor is to “provide oversight and control of wellbeing and consumer rights and protection of the citizens of the Russian Federation.” It is an offshoot of the executive branch that forms and enforces state policy regarding consumer rights protection. This can stretch from dealing with state epidemiological guidelines (such as helping provide guidance on Russia’s coronavirus response) to “monitoring in the field of consumer rights protection.” Basically, Rospotrebnadzor is Russia’s version of a consumer rights watchdog, and it does like to bark when it sees potential risks to Russian citizens.

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