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A week's worth of help and tips during Consumer Protection Week

Being a consumer is a tough job. Really tough. During National Consumer Protection Week, which runs through March 6, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund staff is offering a daily dose of tips and advice to help you navigate life’s biggest consumer challenges.

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Blog Post

Deere in the Headlights as 21 states consider Right to Repair | Nathan Proctor

Right to Repair continues at a rapid pace in 2021, as we now have 33 active bills in 21 state legislatures, while tractor repair takes center stage.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

Study: CFPB complaints shattered records in 2020, exposing how the COVID-19 pandemic battered consumer finances

Consumer complaints about problems with financial companies such as banks, credit bureaus and debt collectors rose by more than 50 percent in 2020 and set new records for each month of the year, according to a new report from the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

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Blog Post

Congress must reinstate Polluter Pays Tax to speed up toxic waste cleanups | Henry Hintermeister

The United States has a toxic waste problem. But as financial burden for cleaning up that waste has shifted primarily to taxpayers, cleanups are lagging behind.

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Blog Post

Mounting evidence: Asbestos in talc-based makeup (again) | Gina Werdel

Once again, product testing demonstrates that the risk of asbestos contamination in talc-based cosmetic products is simply too high to accept.

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News Release | Food

Cutting Ag Subsidies Key to Implementing USDA’s Dietary Recommendations

Statement of Elizabeth Hitchcock, MontPIRG Federal Public Health Advocate on the USDA’s announcement of new Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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News Release | Health Care

Health Law to Deliver Coverage For 4340 Young Adults in Montana

A provision of the new federal health care law that goes into effect today allowing parents to keep children on their health insurance plan until age 26 will benefit 4340 young people, according to consumer group MontPIRG.

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News Release | MontPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

USDA's New Performance Standards Should Bring Safer Poultry to Market

WASHINGTON, May 10 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new performance standards (PDF) for Salmonella and Campylobacter—the most common disease hazards in the meat and poultry supply. USDA has cut the target levels for Salmonella in poultry by over 60 percent, and set the first-ever performance standard for Campylobacter.

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Media Hit | Food

USA Today: 'Growing concern' over marketing tainted beef

Beef containing harmful pesticides, veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals is being sold to the public because federal agencies have failed to set limits for the contaminants or adequately test for them, a federal audit finds.

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News Release | Transportation

Private Roads Public Costs: The Facts About Toll Road Privatization and How to Protect the Public

States Vulnerable to Make Bad Deals; Public Protections Called for

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Blog Post | Food, Solid Waste

What a waste: At least 30% of trash could be composted instead of buried or burned

Each year, America landfills and incinerates enough organic material to fill a line of 18-wheelers stretching from New York to Los Angeles 10 times over.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

As CFPB Reviews Overdraft Rules, UK Regulator Makes Pro-Consumer Changes | Ed Mierzwinski

As the CFPB conducts a ten-year regulatory review of the Overdraft Rule established by the pre-CFPB regulators in 2010, the UK's Financial Conduct Authority has announced sweeping changes to address what it calls a "dysfunctional" overdraft market. The US system prohibits overdraft fees on debit and ATM transactions unless you opt-in to fee-based "standard overdraft protection," but the fees average over $32 per overdraft and CFPB has accused some banks of deceptive marketing of the service. Meanwhile, the UK's FCA is banning fixed fee overdrafts and requiring UK banks to treat overdrafts as loans subject to reasonable interest rates. We've asked CFPB to ban overdrafts on debit and ATM transactions.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Consumer Privacy Fight In Congress Intensifies | Ed Mierzwinski

The media are reporting that efforts led by BigTech and BigPhone to push Congress to enact a self-serving umbrella privacy law on Capitol Hill are stalling. But that's only for now; they are still pushing hard. Pushback from legislators with stronger state laws is helping slow them down. So are the welcome efforts of civil rights colleagues to demand that digital and algorithmic decisions not discriminate. There's an important civil rights briefing later this afternoon on Capitol Hill. Learn more. 

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

State PIRGs Join National Consumer Lobby Day At Congress | Ed Mierzwinski

State PIRG staff from around the country joined over 120 consumer advocates at the third annual Consumer Lobby Day today. Meetings with members of Congress and their staffs focused on protecting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure and funding while also opposing its current leadership's attack on a payday lending regulation drafted by its past director and his team.

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Blog Post

U.S. PIRG endorses bipartisan bill to end hunger on college campuses

A bipartisan consensus is forming around at least one issue: battling hunger among college students.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

WASHINGTON – Midway through a summer full of brutally hot weather, flash floods and worsening drought, the U.S. Senate passed the largest-ever package of climate and clean energy investments. The Inflation Reduction Act includes roughly $369 billion in climate spending, designed to reduce emissions by 40% by 2030 and put the United States’ Paris Climate Accord goals within reach. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on Friday, August 12.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

WASHINGTON – The Inflation Reduction Act just passed by the U.S. Senate provides powerful tools for the government to address high drug prices. Federal legislators identified ways to address drug costs that will save close to $240 billion over 10 years and also relieve the burden of the high cost of medications for many Americans. Next, the U.S. House of Representatives must pass the bill for it to become law.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

The United States Senate passed the PACT Act with bipartisan support, expanding health care benefits to veterans exposed to toxic chemicals while serving in the military.

News Release | U.S. PIRG

According to the Wall Street Journal, Equifax sent to lenders millions of incorrect credit scores for consumers applying for auto loans, mortgages and credit cards.

Blog Post

If passed, this bill would reinstate one of several “polluter pays” taxes that was allowed to lapse 26 years ago

Transportation

EPA announces $5 billion for electric school buses

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a $5 billion Clean School Bus Program to help school districts replace polluting diesel buses with clean electric ones. Currently, most of the nation’s 450,000 school buses run on diesel fuel, even though diesel exhaust has been linked to respiratory illness, cancer and other serious health risks.

 

Solid Waste

Biden administration commits to removing single-use plastic from national parks

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has issued an order to phase out single-use plastic products from our country’s national parks and other public lands by 2032, after PIRG and over 20,000 of our supporters urged the administration to take this critical step beyond plastic.

 

Report: Methane Gas Leaks

Gas leaks and pipeline incidents are common and put public health and safety at risk.

 

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.

 

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