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News Release | PIRG | COVID-19

Statement: 1 million Americans dead from COVID-19

President Biden is acknowledging the loss of 1 million American lives to COVID-19 on Thursday. The Administration marks the sad milestone as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have risen across the United States in recent weeks, most sharply in the Northeast. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG & Environment America

Statement: Congress should pass legislation to protect drinking water from PFAS contamination

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Rep. Chris Pappas of New Hampshire introduced the Clean Water Standards for PFAS 2.0 Act into the Senate and the House this week. The bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish limits on how much PFAS chemicals producers can dump into waterways and to set water quality criteria to protect human health.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Senate Commerce to vote to restore FTC power to compensate victims of corporate wrongdoers | Ed Mierzwinski

Last year, the Supreme Court eliminated the FTC's key authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers and use the money to compensate their victims. It was an unfortunate decision that benefited a convicted payday lender who fleeced thousands of victims and will allow brand name Big Pharma firms that block lower-cost generic competitors and other wrongdoers to escape billions of dollars in restitution. The Senate Commerce Committee is voting tomorrow on a bill to restore FTC powers.

-- Cover graphic of FTC Building via Flickr, by Boston Public Library, Some rights reserved.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Mastercard, Visa and banks all profit from inflation without doing anything

Merchants pay swipe fees to accept credit and debit cards and are forced by card network rules to pass the costs on to all consumers, including cash customers, with higher prices at the store and at the pump. As I told the Senate, the big banks are happy with inflation -- when gas prices double, their percentage-based swipe fee revenue doubles – without the banks making anything or doing anything.”

Cover photo: whyframes studio via iStock

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC

Consumer advocacy groups launch campaign to get Columbia Sportswear to phase out toxic ‘forever chemicals’

 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) launched a campaign on Tuesday calling on outdoor gear and apparel brand Columbia Sportswear to phase out the use of PFAS in its products and supply chains. Last month, the company received low marks in a scorecard report released by the advocacy groups. The report found that Columbia Sportswear has failed to adopt policies that ban PFAS chemicals or provide up-to-date, publicly available information on any ongoing efforts to phase out these toxic chemicals from their products.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund & Environment America Research and Policy Center

Interactive map shows widespread lead contamination in schools drinking water

Lead contamination of school drinking water is more pervasive than previously thought, according to testing data from across the nation published on Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund on a new interactive map. The groups urged public officials to take swift action to “get the lead out” of schools’ drinking water.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

U.S. PIRG applauds Biden Administration’s actions on medical debt

Our statement on Vice President Kamala Harris' announced reforms to reduce the impact of medical debt on Americans’ finances.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

STATEMENT: U.S. PIRG cheers introduction of drug price competition measures

The House Oversight Committee introduced three important pieces of legislation Thursday to address problems in how drugs are priced and come to market. These bills follow a comprehensive report by the committee based on multiple oversight hearings. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund, NRDC and Fashion FWD

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. (NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products.

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News Release | PIRG

EPA takes an important step to ban carcinogenic asbestos

EPA announced today new steps to ban chrysotile asbestos, the most common of six types of asbestos. Exposure to chrysotile and the other five types of asbestos can cause mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the chest and stomach lining, lung cancer and asbestosis, which causes permanent lung damage.

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Result | Public Health

KIDS’ SCHOOL LUNCHES NOW SAFER

For years, America’s schoolchildren have been eating beef, chicken and other foods that would have been rejected as substandard even by fast food chains. Thanks in part to our advocacy, the U.S.D.A. has stopped buying such low-quality meat for school lunches.

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Result | Health Care

Young People Now Covered

This year, the federal health care reforms that MontPIRG worked to win have started to pay off for young people. In the past, teens saw their premiums soar or were denied coverage when they turned 19, even if they’d been insured their whole lives. Now, they can remain on their parents’ plans until age 26. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

Make the ringing stop

Research by PIRG Education Fund shows that among 49 of the largest phone companies nationwide (those that can serve 1 million or more), only 16 have reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have completely implemented anti-robocall technology. What does this mean? It means the industry isn’t doing nearly as much as hoped to fight the crime that for years has caused so much heartache and aggravation among consumers nationwide.

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

Chain Reaction VI

The Chain Reaction VI report and scorecard ranks America’s top restaurant chains on their policies relating to antibiotic use in their beef supply chains. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Looking Inward

We surveyed nearly 1,000 personal care products from 26 popular cosmetics companies and scored them on ingredient safety and disclosure. The major takeaway: most companies need to do a lot more to inform their customers about what ingredients are in their products.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Warranties in the Void II

An updated survey of warranties from 43 companies finding all tell customers they void warranties for independent repair. The continued problem of warranties wearing thin underscores the need for action on Right to Repair.

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Nursing home safety during COVID: Staff shortages

For most of last year, more than 200,000 people at any given time were in nursing homes that themselves acknowledged they were suffering from staff shortages.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Senate Commerce to vote to restore FTC power to compensate victims of corporate wrongdoers | Ed Mierzwinski

Last year, the Supreme Court eliminated the FTC's key authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers and use the money to compensate their victims. It was an unfortunate decision that benefited a convicted payday lender who fleeced thousands of victims and will allow brand name Big Pharma firms that block lower-cost generic competitors and other wrongdoers to escape billions of dollars in restitution. The Senate Commerce Committee is voting tomorrow on a bill to restore FTC powers.

-- Cover graphic of FTC Building via Flickr, by Boston Public Library, Some rights reserved.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Mastercard, Visa and banks all profit from inflation without doing anything

Merchants pay swipe fees to accept credit and debit cards and are forced by card network rules to pass the costs on to all consumers, including cash customers, with higher prices at the store and at the pump. As I told the Senate, the big banks are happy with inflation -- when gas prices double, their percentage-based swipe fee revenue doubles – without the banks making anything or doing anything.”

Cover photo: whyframes studio via iStock

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Blog Post

Campaign for Columbia Sportswear Commitment to Eliminate PFAS Launched Today | Emily Rogers

Today U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC launched a campaign to urge Columbia Sportswear to eliminate toxic PFAS in their products and supply chain by 2024. The campaign will engage everyday consumers through a petition drive and mobilize the public impacted by PFAS contamination.

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Blog Post

Recent ruling on No Surprises Act will likely lead to higher health care premiums, costs | Patricia Kelmar

Providers may promise to “do no harm,” but clearly the thing some of them care about keeping healthy, above their patients, is their revenue stream. After fighting against patients -- and losing -- in the halls of Congress and again during the executive branch’s rule-making process, they finally found a sympathetic ear in one federal district court.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Not one, not two, but four more states ban single-use plastic bags

The number of statewide plastic bag bans in the U.S. tripled in June, with Maine, Vermont, Connecticut and Oregon adding themselves to the list.

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Blog Post

PIRG Consumer Watchdog: Recalled baby rockers could still be at your child's day care

Adam Garber, the PIRG consumer watchdog, was shocked when he discovered recalled baby rockers at his infant son's day care this June.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Here's why we're not satisfied that Equifax agreed to pay $650 million for its big data breach

Equifax has agreed to pay $650 million two years after its data breach put 147 million people at risk. It's not enough.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Nathan Proctor advocates for our right to repair at the FTC’s 'Nixing the Fix' workshop

We've been telling everybody who will listen that the companies that make electronics and other products should make it easier to repair your stuff. In July, we got to tell the Federal Trade Commission...

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Blog Post | Public Health

Public education, member action strengthen call to ban Roundup

The more we educate the public about Monsanto's weedkiller, Roundup, the more support we find for banning the product—the residue of which can be found practically everywhere, from breakfast cereal to ice cream.

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Blog Post

 U.S. PIRG Education Fund and PIRG’s affiliated mutual fund company Green Century Capital Management, have been pressuring McDonald’s about environmental and public health issues for several years. Now, we’re working to hold McDonald’s accountable to its promises to improve factory farming conditions and reduce antibiotic use in the beef it buys. 

Blog Post

Donald Ross passed away on May 14 after a recent illness. He was 78 years old.

Consumer Protection

GM heeds consumer groups' advocacy, commits to not sell used cars with safety issues

We commend General Motors for its new commitment not to sell used vehicles with unrepaired safety recall defects on its soon-to-be-launched used car platform, CarBravo.

 

Health Care

Victory: Medical debt to be scrubbed from consumers' credit reports

One in 5 American households report having medical debt. Now, new credit industry policies will help keep that debt from hurting their credit.

 

Safe Energy

Report: Electric school buses are a win for our kids and our energy grid

What if we could keep pollution out of our air, help stave of climate disaster, and move toward a cleaner energy grid — all by investing in electric school buses for our kids?

 

Consumer Tips

In the market for a new phone or laptop? This scorecard will tell you which popular products are built to last.

Products that carry unnecessary restrictions on access to repair tools lead you to spend money replacing your devices instead of repairing them. And they harm our planet by contributing to our rapidly growing electronic waste problem.

 

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