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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

One Billion Tax Dollars per Year Subsidize Junk Food Ingredients, Fuel Obesity Epidemic

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high-fructose corn syrup, at a rate that would buy 20 Twinkies for each taxpayer every year, according to MASSPIRG’s new report, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.” Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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Report | MASSPIRG | Food

Apples to Twinkies 2013

At a time when America faces high obesity rates and tough federal budget choices, taxpayer dollars are funding the production of junk food ingredients. Since 1995, the government has spent $292.5 billion on agricultural subsidies, $19.2 billion of which have subsidized corn- and soy-derived junk food ingredients.

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News Release | MASSPIRG and Community Catalyst | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Health Care

Twenty Top Generic Drugs Delayed by Industry Payoffs

Bay Staters with cancer, heart disease, epilepsy and other conditions have been forced to pay an average of 10 times more than necessary for at least 20 blockbuster drugs, according to a report released today by MASSPIRG and Community Catalyst.

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Report | MASSPIRG and Community Catalyst | Public Health, Consumer Protection, Health Care

Top Twenty Pay-for-Delay Drugs

Too often, consumers are forced to shoulder a heavy financial burden, or even go without needed medicine, due to the high cost of brand-name drugs. Our research indicates that one significant cause is the practice called “pay for delay,” which inflates the drug prices paid by tens of millions of Americans.

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Blog Post | Budget, Tax

4 REASONS LAWMAKERS ARE SCRUTINIZING HOW COMPANIES TURN SETTLEMENTS FROM WRONGDOING INTO TAX WRITE OFFS | Deirdre Cummings

When a company must pay a penalty for wrongdoing, should the public also shoulder a hidden subsidy for the corporation? Four factors are bringing this issue to a head.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Voters Want Strong Oversight of Wall Street and Back New Consumer Cop

Reforms enacted in response to the financial meltdown remain popular with voters, a new opinion poll by Lake Research Partners shows. With just one year of work under its belt, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a strong record of successes for consumers despite facing constant unfounded political attacks.

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News Release | MASSPIRG and the Massachusetts Sierra Club

Groups release report, “The Impact of Updating the Bottle Bill on Jobs and the Economy”

As the Massachusetts Senate takes up the “Jobs Bill” (S.2350), two organizations released a white paper demonstrating that amendment #36, which would update the Bottle Bill, the 5-cent deposit on some beverage containers, would save and/or create 1500 jobs in Massachusetts in the recycling, collection, and manufacturing sectors.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Health Care

MASSPIRG Urges Governor to Veto Changes To Prescription Drug Gift Ban

Leading consumer, health care and senior organizations urge Governor Patrick to veto the changes made to the Prescription Drug Gift Ban included in the Massachusetts FY13 budget currently pending his approval.   “At a time when government, businesses and consumers are focused on improving health care quality and controlling costs, the very last thing the Legislature and the Governor should be considering is weakening the gift ban law,” concluded Deirdre Cummings, MASSPIRG Legislative Director.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

MASSPIRG Opposes Price Sticker Elimination

“Shoppers need more and clearer price information, not less,” said Deirdre Cummings, legislative director at MASSPIRG. “Accurate, comparable, and easy-to-use price disclosure is as important today than it has ever been. Retailers and manufacturers are continually inventing new strategies and gimmicks to get us to shop their store or buy their products – all in the name of a ‘bargain’”.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Transportation

Statement of MASSPIRG Staff Attorney Lizzi Weyant on passage of the short-term funding bill for statewide public transportation

We are grateful that the legislature approved this short-term funding fix for the T and the RTAs, but we need our decision-makers to pass legislation that creates a comprehensive, statewide, long-term solution to all of our transportation funding needs. We need the legislature to fix our broken transportation system and work to increase public transportation ridership.

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Who's Watching The Watchdogs?

Conflicts of interest and lack of independent funding have doomed both the national and state level accounting oversight systems in the United States. The state accounting boards and the network of overlapping, mostly self-regulatory federal accounting overseers act as classic regulators, serving management instead of serving investors and taxpayers.

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Deflate Your Rate

At the end of the year 2000, U.S. households were accruing interest on $574 billion of revolving credit card debt, or debt carried over to the next month rather than paid off entirely.

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Report | Solid Waste

Where There's Smoking, There's Fire

Across the nation, over 1,000 people are killed and 3,000 injured as a result of cigarette fires each year. These fires cause more than $400 million in property damage. In Massachusetts alone in 2000, 1,280 fires were attributed to cigarettes. Those fires killed 17 people, injured 81 civilians, and wounded 61 firefighters in the line of duty. Insurers and property owners lost over $9.3 million due to the same blazes. Despite igniting 5% of the 24,931 reported fires in 2000, cigarette fires killed 17 civilians, or 22% of all civilian fires deaths

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Report | Budget

Major League Steal

The Red Sox are proposing to construct a 44,130 seat stadium on 15 acres of land adjacent to the present Fenway Park. The Owners of the Red Sox are poised to seek a minimum of $250 million in state and local taxpayer subsidies for the $600 million plus project.

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Priority Action

The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is threatening these lifesaving medicines. Call on big restaurants to do their part and stop buying meat raised with critical antibiotics.

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