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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

30th Annual Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Boston – Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to MASSPIRG Education Fund’s 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

 

The report reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for toxic chemicals, including chromium and phthalates, both of which can have serious, adverse health impacts on a child’s development. The survey also found examples of toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that can threaten children’s hearing, and powerful toy magnets that can cause serious injury if swallowed.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland 2015

For 30 years, MASSPIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report Finds Small Decrease in Driving Would Save Bay Staters more than $20 Billion by 2030

A new report released today documents a potential savings of more than $20 billion for the Commonwealth’s residents and state budget. Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) and the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund released their study on the benefits of reduced driving in the Commonwealth. The report finds that even small reductions in driving would yield substantial benefits between now and 2030. 

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Media Hit | Transportation

How much can Massachusetts save from driving less?

In a report to be released Monday, researchers say Massachusetts drivers can save about $2.3 billion annually if they hit the road just one percentage point less than they’re projected to drive from 2015 to 2030.

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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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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget

New Report: Massachusetts Receives an "A-" in Annual Report on Transparency of Government Spending

Massachusetts received an A- when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2014: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fifth annual report of its kind by the MASSPIRG Education Fund. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Democracy

TODAY SUPREME COURT RULED FOR ANOTHER FLOOD OF BIG MONEY

Today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon v. FEC to strike down overall, or aggregate, contribution limits to candidates and political committees. MASSPIRG research found that this ruling could bring $1 billion in additional campaign contributions from fewer than 2,800 elite donors through the 2020 election cycle.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Keeping On Track -- Progress of Funding and Reforming Transportation in Massachusetts

Progress report shows good amount of transportation finance law has been implemented in first seven months but the amount of funding still insufficient to meet all of state's transportation needs.

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Students to Stop and Shop: Label GMO Food

Consumers call on Stop and Shop to label GMO food.

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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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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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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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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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Blog Post | Budget

Testomony is support of Transparency in State Revenues and Expenditures | Deirdre Cummings

The Commonwealth should become a leader in budget transparency. Doing so will help rebuild the frayed public trust in government. It will help us make better choices together about investments in our community.

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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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