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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

PIRGs, Others Ask CFPB & FTC To Investigate Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach

In a letter sent today, a number of state PIRGs and other leading privacy and consumer groups urged the CFPB and FTC to fully investigate the recent breach of an Experian subsidary that exposed 15 million T-Mobile customer and applicant records to the threat of new account identity theft. The letter asked whether the regulators could require Experian and the other two nationwide credit bureaus -- TransUnion and Equifax -- to give victims free security freezes to protect their credit reports.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As CFPB Advances Consumer Protection, Attacks on CFPB Escalate | Ed Mierzwinski

This week, the CFPB took a major step toward establishing a regulation restricting the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer financial contracts, which give companies what the CFPB's director said was a "free pass from being held accountable by their customers." Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, powerful bank interests escalated their campaign to defund and defang the bureau, because it works for consumers, not them.

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Media Hit | Tax

These eight Massachusetts companies have used offshore tax havens

 Tax havens are legal, but proponents of tax reform say eight companies headquartered in Massachusetts are using them and costing the state millions of dollars in revenue.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Study: 72% of Fortune 500 Companies Used Tax Havens in 2014

 

Tax loopholes encouraged more than 72 percent of Fortune 500 companies – including 8 companies head quartered in Massachusetts – to maintain subsidiaries in offshore tax havens as of 2014, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by MASSPIRG Education Fund, and Citizens for Tax Justice. Collectively, the companies reported booking nearly $2 trillion offshore for tax purposes, with just 30 companies accounting for 65 percent of the total, or $1.35 trillion.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Tax

Biggest Tax Dodgers

 U.S.-based multinational corporations are allowed to play by a different set of rules than small and domestic businesses or individuals when it comes to the tax code. Rather than paying their full share, many multinational corporations use accounting tricks to pretend for tax purposes that a substantial portion of their profits are generated in offshore tax havens, countries with minimal or no taxes where a company’s presence may be as little as a mailbox. Multinational corporations’ use of tax havens allows them to avoid an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

GMO Labeling Bill Passes MA Legislative Committee

A state legislative committee passes GMO food labeling bill.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection, Food

Consumers Call on Stop and Shop to Label GMOs, On Anniversary of Whole Foods Labeling Commitment

Consumer and health and food safety advocates launched a campaign calling on Stop and Shop to label its store-brand products for ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), on the one year anniversary of Whole Foods’ announcement that it will adopt labeling for all products in its stores.

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News Release | MASSPIRG EDUCATION FUND | Consumer Protection

Mistaken Identity Tops Debt Collection Complaints

Massachusetts Consumers Getting Relief through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Public Consumer Complaints Database

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report: University Campuses Like Harvard and UMass Boston Are Transportation Trailblazers as Students Lead Shift From Driving

As Millennials lead a national shift away from driving, universities like Harvard and UMass Boston are giving students new options for getting around and becoming innovators in transportation policy, according to a new report released today.

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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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The Food Safety Net

Protecting the safety and integrity of the food supply is one of the oldest functions of government, one that the American people expect their government to perform and perform well.

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Report | Health Care

Turning Medicine Into Snake Oil

False and misleading prescription drug advertising is common and dangerous. Prescription drug marketers are inundating doctors, and to a lesser extent, the public, with marketing that misrepresents risks, promotes unproven uses, and makes unsubstantiated claims. The false and misleading messages are communicated through conventional advertising, sales representatives, doctors speaking on behalf of drug marketers, and through clinical trial suppression, manipulation and misrepresentation.

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The 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 and browse for the perfect toy on the Internet this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Testimony in Support of Transportation Reform and Revenue | Elizabeth Weyant

As you well know, our entire transportation system is facing a severe funding crisis.  Roads, bridges, highways, and public transportation agencies have an estimated $15-$19 billion funding deficit over the next twenty years that will be incurred just to maintain our current network.  This gap will impact every state resident as our roads and bridges deteriorate and public transit is reduced.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony and Comments In Favor of Quality Affordable Student Health Insurance | Deirdre Cummings

Whether through legislation or through administrative authority at the Division of Insurance, we must act now to protect students, ensure they are sold quality health plans, and stop the insurance companies from gouging students with health plans where the profit and administrative expenses are 4 times that of the average policy holder in the state.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in support of An Act to Reducing Automobile Costs and Premiums in the Commonwealth SB 522 | Deirdre Cummings

The number one complaint from consumers about their auto insurance is the high cost. The blame for the high cost belongs to Massachusetts’s ultra-high accident rate, as measured by claims data reported by the Insurance Research Council.* Massachusetts has the dubious distinction of having the highest accident rate in the country by far – an astounding 40% higher than the state with the second-highest rate, Rhode Island.  Even improving our worst-in-the-nation accident rate to second worst could drop our premiums by 20%, or nearly $200 on average per car per year, producing about $800 million in statewide savings each year.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

TESTIMONY In support of An Act Relative to Expanding Energy Efficiency in the Commonwealth | Janet Domenitz

As a statewide, member supported, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization, our agenda is to promote public health, consumer protection, and citizens’ voices in a process often dominated by powerful special interests. This bill, which would expand energy efficiency standards in the Commonwealth, is exactly the kind of solution we need to our energy problems.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Opposition to bills which would weaken or eliminate the food store item pricing law | Deirdre Cummings

I urge you to oppose these measures which undermine consumers’ clout in the market place. Now, more than ever, as we are barraged with more and more sophisticated marketing strategies we should be focused on measures to enhance consumer information – and not diminish it.

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Priority Action

We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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