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Blog Post

You’re not crazy: your appliances were built to fail you | Anne Marie Green

Why appliances aren’t built to last, and how the E.U. is changing that. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

7 types of ingredients to avoid in your personal care routineDanielle MelgarGina Werdel

A scorecard released by U.S. PIRG Education Fund found that many popular cosmetic brands score poorly on ingredient safety and disclosure. While companies and governments need to take action to protect consumers, in the meantime, you can take steps to keep your personal care routine safe.

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News Release

Statement: Landmark FTC report calls for action on Right to Repair

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report today on manufacturers' use of restrictive repair tactics that have kept consumers from repairing their own products.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Lawmakers and public push Whole Foods to put “Planet Over Plastic” at upcoming annual meeting

AUSTIN, Texas --  U.S. PIRG Education Fund , Environment America Research & Policy Center, and Student PIRG sent 59,000 petitions and a letter signed by more than 40 state lawmakers Thursday to Whole Foods urging the company to commit to a comprehensive plan for phasing out single-use plastic packaging from its stores. This follows a March 2021 letter signed by more than 130 advocacy and community groups calling on the national supermarket chain to adopt a bold response to the plastic pollution crisis.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

How e-waste is creating a growing environmental and health crisis across the worldAnne Marie GreenHaley Clinton

We need policies like Right to Repair to address the dangerous flood of electronics waste

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Government funding bill coverage: Resources and interview opportunities

A new bill that would fund the government through September 2021 and provide accompanying COVID-19 relief is awaiting President Donald Trump’s signature. While direct disbursements to Americans, many of whom are struggling with medical, utility and rent or mortgage payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken center stage, numerous other components of the budget bill will play a starring role for a long time to come. Many of the bill’s provisions will fund -- at varying levels -- key public health, environmental and consumer protection initiatives. The nonprofits U.S. PIRG and Environment America and their state affiliates have been leading voices on -- and drivers of -- policy in these areas for decades. As you continue your coverage of the varied aspects of the 5,600-page legislation, please consider contacting our experts for interviews or background information. Here are the experts available to interview on the these topics, either over the phone or via Zoom/Skype.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Year in review: public health, voters’ rights and consumer protection wins in 2020

Between a global pandemic, raging wildfires and severe hurricanes, 2020 has been a chaotic and difficult year. Hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their lives and millions took ill. But we persevered, as our community members, friends and family made sacrifices, both large and small. Through it all, U.S. PIRG has advocated on behalf of the public interest.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | COVID-19

U.S. PIRG statement on COVID-19 relief legislation

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are poised to pass legislation Monday that, if signed into law, would provide some financial relief to Americans and small businesses struggling during the pandemic, but would fail to adequately fund key virus-fighting tools. U.S. PIRG is urging Congress to pass additional legislation to pay for increased testing to control the virus. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG

Statement: U.S. PIRG cheers bipartisan Congressional vote to end unfair surprise medical bills

After two years of debate in four congressional committees, Congress seemed likely to pass bipartisan legislation Monday that, if signed into law, will protect millions of consumers from unfair surprise medical bills from out-of-network providers. In response to the expected congressional passage of the surprise billing legislation, Patricia Kelmar, U.S. PIRG’s Health Care Campaigns director, made the following statement: “If passed, this will be the most far-reaching consumer protection that Congress has passed in recent memory...

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Money for nothing: Paying the same car insurance while driving less during the pandemic

While COVID-19 is causing financial difficulties for tens of millions of Americans, auto insurers nationwide have made tens of billions of dollars in profit because consumers have driven significantly less during the pandemic.

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Report | MontPIRG | Transportation

Millennials in Motion

Millennials are less car-focused than older Americans and previous generations of young people, and their transportation behaviors continue to change in ways that reduce driving. Now is the time for the nation’s transportation policies to acknowledge, accommodate and support Millennials’ demands for a greater array of transportation choices.

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Report | MontPIRG | Consumer Protection

The Unfriendly Skies

It seems as if every consumer has an airline problem story—how they were trapped on the tarmac, tricked by fees, missed their connection, or lost their bag. What many consumers don’t know is that they have a number of new rights as well as a right to complain, both to the airline and to the government. This report tracks five years of consumer complaints and highlights which airlines received the most complaints and what kinds of complaints were most common.

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Report | MontPIRG | Transportation

A New Direction

The Driving Boom—a six decade-long period of steady increases in per-capita driving in the United States—is over. The time has come for America to hit the “reset” button on transportation policy—replacing the policy infrastructure of the Driving Boom years with a more efficient, flexible and nimble system that is better able to meet the transportation  needs of the 21st century. 

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Transparency in City Spending

The ability to see how government uses the public purse is fundamental to democracy. Transparency in government spending checks corruption, bolsters public confidence, improves responsiveness, and promotes greater effectiveness and fiscal responsibility.

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Report | MontPIRG | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2012

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual MontPIRG survey of toy safety. In this report, MontPIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

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Blog Post

Plastic waste solutions hiding in plain sight: Recycled content requirements | Haley Clinton

This blog is the second in a series examining policy solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that are proven and replicable. This section covers recycled content requirements.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Nation's strongest plastic waste bill returns to Congress | Henry Hintermeister

In response to the worsening plastic waste crisis, federal lawmakers and advocates are championing legislation to cut our nation's plastic footprint down a size. 

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Blog Post

Another face of toxic-free beauty advocacy | Gina Werdel

We spoke to Je’May Ward, a clean beauty blogger from North Carolina, about what clean beauty advocacy means for her.

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Blog Post

We're calling on the FTC to take action on Right to Repair | Nathan Proctor

The FTC is due to report on repair restrictions, and we’re pressing for real action to follow. 

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Blog Post

Drinking Water Shut Off In All Detroit Schools Due To Lead

As school started for the year, many students in Detroit returned to schools with drinking water containing lead—a toxin that can impact how they think, learn and behave.

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Blog Post

'This Infection is Resistant to Everything We Have'

Those are not words any patient wants to hear.

But a surgeon at The Johns Hopkins Hospital tells U.S. PIRG Education Fund that he and other doctors are being forced to deliver that message. He points to the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture as a major culprit.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

1 Year After Equifax Data Breach, Here's Everything You Need To Know

One year after announcing the biggest data breach in history, Equifax still hasn’t been held accountable or provided the information and tools consumers need to protect themselves. Since Equifax won’t help protect consumers, MontPIRG is stepping in.

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Blog Post

"The FCC is done asking nicely or urging or begging phone companies to fight robocall."

News Release | U.S. PIRG

A bipartisan group of senators met Tuesday afternoon to prepare for a vote planned Wednesday on a $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework that aims to boost federal investment in U.S. infrastructure, including billions for roads, clean water and power infrastructure, according to media reports. 

Blog Post

Today, the U.S. House takes a key vote. HR2668, the Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, would restore the FTC's Section 13(b) authority to hold wrongdoers accountable and compensate consumer-victims harmed by their actions. The Supreme Court had recently ruled that the power, used for over 40 years to recover billions, was not clearly articulated in law.

Cover photo via Flickr by Mr. Blue MauMau, some rights reserved.

Blog Post

Next week, the full House of  Representatives is expected to vote on HR2668, critical legislation to restore Federal Trade Commission authority to disgorge ill-gotten gains from corporate wrongdoers to use to compensate victims of the crime. This spring, the Supreme Court had held that the power was not clearly defined in law, even though courts had upheld the authority for many years, allowing the FTC to return billions of dollars  to consumers.

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

Blog Post

"No parent should ever have to endure the tragedy of losing a child."

Consumer Protection

Is that really the IRS? Robocall protections take aim at spoofed numbers

Thanks to new FCC rules, most phone providers are now required to arm their customers with Caller ID verification to confirm whether calls on their network are actually coming from the number on display. 

 

Consumer Protection

Tough product safety rules will help babies sleep more safely

Improperly used inclined sleepers have lead to dozens of infant deaths. Rules established by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will require all infant sleep products to adhere to more rigorous safety requirements and pass third-party testing.

 

Antibiotics

Chain Reaction VI

How top restaurants rate on reducing antibiotic use in their beef supply chains

 

Consumer Protection

Beech-Nut to stop making some infant rice cereal after officials find arsenic

Baby food maker Beech-Nut announced that it would stop selling its single grain rice cereal after testing by Alaska officials revealed high arsenic levels. PIRG is calling on all baby food companies to immediately recall foods that contain high levels of heavy metals.

 

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