First off, you're taxing my pay to pay someone else to tell me something I already know
Great - so you already know, good for you. I too already know this, but the majority of the populous do not. The government can't only consider minority groups, the mass population is equally important to them.
private consumer watchdogs (plural) which would be more effective and efficient
Sorry, but who is going to fund this? And what is their motivator? I'm missing something here.
then there is perceived to be less or no need to weigh your choices carefully, to research before buying
I'm not sure if you're arrogant or ignorant here, but the general population does not have the education or sometimes the intelligence to make sensible choices that require knowledge and information they don't posses. Just because I (believe I) am smart and have the ability to discern the difference between snake oil and the real thing doesn't make it right for me to project that ability onto the rest of the population.
I sounds to me that you think it's right to allow mega corps to peddle any wares and allude to any claim and leave the people to sort this out individually - that's not a fair game.
I'm a believer that we should not meddle too much with peoples ability to make choices - but at the same time we need to arm the people with the information they need to make these choices. But you're siding with the corporations here, they have the balance of power (ignorant customers, and lots of money). This is all that need to be fixed.
I also believe that as a whole, humans are becoming more and more stupid (ie, not able to make what 'I' consider sensible decisions) and that's a shame, but that doesn't mean our government should allow large corporations take advantage of these people in situations like this. Yes, the are already taking advantage of us in a myriad of ways but health is something that deserves special attention.
You mention your tax dollars being spent to educate the ignorant, would you prefer that your tax dollars be spent saving the lives of those who believed the pedallers and now may need significantly more expensive treatment due to not treating their issue properly initially? <-- lots of speculation there, but my point is that it is not a cut and dry situation. Remember in Australia that healthcare is primarily funded by the government - they also have a vested interest in using the tax dollars in the best way for the people (yes that made me laugh too :) )
Ironically a measure supposedly to benefit consumers tends to actually work against their interests.
That sounds like opinion and speculation - sure there are cases both ways, but 'tends' may be a bit strong.