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FDA OK’s genetically modified salmon

For the first time, Americans will be able to dine on a genetically altered animal, after federal regulators on Thursday approved a Massachusetts biotechnology company’s bid to modify salmon for human consumption.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

What's at Stake

A one percentage point decrease in driving below current growth rate projections would yield substantial economic, environmental, and public health benefits between now and 2030. Those benefits are expected to reach $2.3 billion a year, by 2030, and would be more than $20 billion cumulatively over the period. These savings would chiefly come from less money spent at the pump, less money spent on car collisions, less money spent on vehicle repair, and less money spent on road repair.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

New Study: Small Donor Matching Program Would Incentivize Shift in 2016 Presidential Fundraising Strategies

Candidates in the 2016 presidential race would see a dramatic shift in fundraising success under a proposed small donor public financing system, according to a study released on Wednesday by U.S. PIRG Education Fund. Using third quarter fundraising data filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in October, the report examines the potential impact of a program that matches small contributions with limited public funds for candidates who agree not to accept large donations.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Boosting the Impact of Small Donors

This report examines how the 2016 presidential race would be reshaped by a public financing system that amplifies the voices of small donors in our elections. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

30 Years of "Trouble in Toyland," 30 Years of Safety Improvements | Anna Low-Beer

Every year, U.S. PIRG Education Fund releases Trouble in Toyland, a report on toy safety which examines toys bought at major national retailers, looking for safety hazards including toxic toys, choking hazards, labeling violations, powerful magnets, and excessibely loud toys. We continue to find these hazards on store shelves, which indicates the need for continued vigilance and adequate enforcement of safety regulations. But despite lingering dangers, in the last 30 years, we've come a long way in terms of both policy and compliance with standards.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Tax

Study: 70% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2013

Tax loopholes encouraged more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies – including some companies headquartered in Massachusetts – to maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens as of 2013, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by MASSPIRG Education Fund and Citizens for Tax Justice.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Majority of State Legislators Support GMO Food Labeling

MASSPIRG and other consumer, community, farming and public health organizations working to pass a GMO food labeling law announced that a majority of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate have pledged their support for GMO food labeling legislation curerntly pending in the House. In total, 142 Massachusetts legislators – including 119 from the House of Representatives and 23 from the Senate – have signed on in support of GMO food labeling legislation. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Education Fund Announces New Resource: Top Ten Ways the CFPB Can Help You CFPB Has Already Returned $1.5 Billion To Consumers

MASSPIRG releases a new list of 10 resources available to consumers from the CFPB. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

Vermont Governor Signs GMO Labeling Bill into Law

Momentum building for GMO labeling as Vermont Governor signs bill for Vermont. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Budget, Tax

Poll: Public Wants Federal Agencies to Disclose and Restrict Corporate Tax Write Offs for Out-of-Court Settlements

In recent years, public outrage has built as federal agencies have allowed out-of-court settlements for corporate wrongdoing — like BP’s gulf oil spill and JPMorgan’s toxic mortgages — to be written off for multibillion-dollar tax breaks. See new poll confirming public outrage and support for solutions.

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Trouble In Toyland

Toys are safer than ever before, thanks to decades of work by product safety advocates and parents and the leadership of Congress, state legislatures and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Nevertheless, as parents venture into crowded malls this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves.

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Student Debt and Consumer Costs

Higher education in America continues to be critical for both individual success and the economic and political health of our country. While college attendance has grown over the past two decades, state appropriations and federal aid have failed to keep pace with the rising cost of college.

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Report | Health Care

Paying the Price

Millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans struggle to afford the medicines they need, even forgoing medically necessary drugs when prices are out of reach. When discussing the high cost of prescription drugs, politicians often focus on the financial burden carried by senior citizens.

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2006 Congressional Score Card

The 2006 Scorecard looks at the most important public interest votes taken between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006 in the U.S. Congress. These votes determined the direction of federal policy on critical issues ranging from environmental preservation to health care to consumer protections.

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Paying Back, Not Giving Back

American colleges and universities play a pivotal role in training the nation's citizens, leaders, innovators, public servants and educators. In today's economy, a college education is more desirable than ever before - millions of high school students strive for its promise and the benefits it brings for both the individual and society.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Favor of In favor of An Act Banning the Use of Socio-Economic Factors For Insurance Underwriting and Rating of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance | Deirdre Cummings

We know for example that many of the auto insurance discounts currently being offered today are in fact, proxies for prohibited rating factors. If the regulations prohibit them, then we ought not to allow them to be used through the back door called “discounts.” The public believes auto insurance should be based on driving record and we are here to make sure this is reflected in policy.

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Blog Post | Health Care

Testimony for the 2011 Health Care Cost Trends Hearing | Deirdre Cummings

Health care costs are out of control and rising considerably faster than almost every other household expense. We must reduce the cost of health care now; the high costs have gone on for too long and must be reversed.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Testimony in Support of Transportation Revenue | Elizabeth Weyant

While MBTA recently experienced its highest public transportation ridership levels, our transportation system is splitting at the seams. Sustained high public transportation ridership would result in cleaner air, less dependence on oil, and less congestion on our roadways.  But without a significant investment in our transportation system, none of these benefits can be realized.

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Blog Post | Budget, Health Care

Testimony in Opposition to an Act Relative to Restaurant Rejuvenation | Deirdre Cummings

The Prescription Drug and Medical Device Ban is an important consumer protection law aimed at driving down our highest-in-the-nation, spiraling health care costs by reining in the drug and medical device industries’ aggressive marketing tactics. Among other things, the law bans gifts and/or payments of more than $50, including restaurant meals and entertainment, to physicians and other prescribers, from drug and medical device companies.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Opposition to bills which would weaken or repeal the Food Store Item Pricing Law | Deirdre Cummings

The food store item pricing law requires supermarkets to put price stickers on most items in supermarkets.  It is a long-standing, efficacious, and overwhelmingly popular consumer protection.  While MASSPIRG does not categorically oppose the adoption of new pricing technology, we do oppose legislation that would allow stores to substitute a pricing mechanism that offers less consumer benefit than what we have today. In considering any change to our current retail pricing system, it must first provide equal or better benefits to the consumer to be considered as a substitute. The eight proposals before you today do not provide equal or improved consumer benefits.

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Priority Action

We're calling on big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Tell KFC to stop serving meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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