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Blog Post | Financial Reform

CFPB Criticizes Banks Re Account Opening and Overdrafts, Offers Consumer Tips | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, the CFPB is holding a field hearing in Louisville on problems consumers face when opening bank accounts. It finds that big banks frequently offer consumers expensive accounts where they risk overdraft fees instead of affordable accounts. Further, the CFPB finds that the practices of specialty "bad check" credit bureaus make it harder to open accounts. The CFPB issued warnings to both the banks and credit bureaus while providing consumers with new tips and advice.

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Media Hit | Public Health, Food

Will Yum! Brands Commit to Better Antibiotic Stewardship Policies?

"Despite these successes, we need to re-double our efforts to counter new threats from superbugs that increasingly diminish the effectiveness of antibiotics. We will continue to ramp up our consumer awareness and advocacy campaigns to ensure that the superbugs don't win."

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Blog Post | Democracy

MASSPIRG Praises Senate Action on Government Transparency | Deirdre Cummings

Senate committee passes critically important reforms to our broken public records law.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Food

Consumers Call on KFC to Help Save Antibiotics and Protect Public Health

Today staff and volunteers of the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (MASSPIRG) held an event at a KFC restaurant in Dorchester to announce a campaign calling on KFC to stop selling chicken produced with the routine use of antibiotics. The event in Boston was part of a national campaign launch initiated with a delivery of a letter to KFC, signed by over 82 public interest groups representing millions of consumers that urge the company to commit to a strong antibiotics policy. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Public Health

Some Good, Some Bad in Obama Executive Order on Protecting Antibiotics

Today, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order – Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. While the order takes several important steps necessary to control the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, it misses the opportunity to call for critical reforms in the agricultural sector that are essential to protect public health.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

Statement of Janet Domenitz on today’s United States Senate vote on the constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

“Today’s vote in the U. S. Senate was a milestone in the fight to reclaim our democracy. The 2010 Citizens United decision unleashed a tide of big money from mega-donors and super PACs into our elections, and it has threatened to drown out the voices of ordinary Americans..."

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Group Calls on FDA to Protect Public Health by Regulating Antibiotic Use at Factory Farms

As outlined in our new report entitled Weak Medicine:  Why the FDA's New Guidelines Are Inadequate To Curb Antibiotic Resistance and Protect Public Health.  Guidelines issued by FDA last year lack the restrictions necessary to fully combat the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria documented by world health experts.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Public Health, Consumer Protection

Stop the Superbugs:

MASSPIRG calls on President Obama to curb misuse and overuse of antibiotics.

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Media Hit | Solid Waste

Thirty years later, they’re still pushing the bottle bill

MASSPIRG's Executive Director Janet Domenitz's career as political organizer and effort to update the Bottle Bill on the ballot this November. 

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Report | Center for Insurance Research | Consumer Protection

The Limitations of a Competitive Auto Insurance Market

Auto insurance markets are atypical. To illistrate this, it is helpful to compare the market for auto insurance with the market for refrigerators. The market for refridgerators is an excellent example of an efficient market. The auto insurance market, in sharp contrast, is a very inefficient one, at least from the consumer’s perspective, and is unlike most markets . .

 

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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 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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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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The Failure Of Cable Deregulation

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 restructured the entire telecommunications industry and left virtually all cable subscribers without protection from unrestricted rate hikes.

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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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