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  • Consumer Protection | PennPIRG
    that s largely true But as our toy shopping researchers have found that s not always the case Read more about Trouble in Toyland Despite toy safety progress parents need to be aware Thursday November 17 2011 By Alana Miller Program Associate We don t always know if the gifts will be a hit but the one thing we count on is that the toys we purchase are safe Thanks to the hard work of agencies like the Consumer Product Safety Commission CPSC and consumer advocates like U S PIRG that s largely true But as our toy shopping researchers have found that s not always the case Consumer Protection Read more about Despite toy safety progress parents need to be aware A fee too far Tuesday October 4 2011 By Alana Miller Program Associate We ve posted about avoiding bank fees before but the latest Bank of America shenanigan deserves another word of caution Consumer Protection Read more about A fee too far Media Hit Consumer Protection Inquirer Bank elsewhere to avoid fees With its latest fee Bank of America has made the decision to balance its books on the backs of its customers instead of changing its business model to be more consumer friendly Bank of America to charge 5 debit card fee Friday Chase and Wells Fargo are also testing a 3 debit card fee in certain markets Read more about Inquirer Bank elsewhere to avoid fees Avoid bank fees Wednesday September 7 2011 By Alana Miller Program Associate PennPIRG s advice to consumers remains simple shop around see our banking guide Big banks can charge increasingly bigger fees and make it harder for customers to avoid them because they know consumers don t shop around Consumer Protection Read more about Avoid bank fees News Release Budget Consumer Protection Financial Reform New Consumer Agency Takes Over Thursday as Nation s Consumer Bank Cop Philadelphia PA Leading consumer groups today announced the results of a poll showing that an overwhelming majority of likely voters both support a new consumer agency 74 and want Wall Street held accountable 77 along with a report documenting 10 reasons consumers need the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau The Bureau will take over enforcement of all major consumer laws on Thursday July 21 The groups called for the Senate to vote to confirm former Ohio Attorney General Rich Cordray as its director so that the CFPB is able to fulfill the promise of consumer financial protection Read more about New Consumer Agency Takes Over Thursday as Nation s Consumer Bank Cop News Release Budget Consumer Protection Financial Reform New Survey Shows Banks Still Hiding Fees from Consumers PHILADELPHIA April 12 A survey released today by the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group of more than 350 bank branches revealed that fewer than half of branches obeyed their legal duty to fully disclose fees to prospective customers while one in four provided no fee information at all Read more about New Survey Shows Banks Still

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/topics/consumer-protection?page=8 (2016-04-27)
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  • Consumer Protection | PennPIRG
    hottest political issues of the day from fighting the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms to promoting campaign finance reform and tackling Citizens United improving voter access for students and underrepresented communities and advocating for a 21st century transportation system Job Description Take Action Donate Join Us Priority Action We re teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms Call on KFC to

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/topics/consumer-protection?page=10 (2016-04-27)
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  • House Tees Up VW Bailout and Other Attacks on Public Protections, Consumer Rights | PennPIRG
    would tie agencies hands with unnecessary red tape and waste valuable agency resources and taxpayer dollars The Rules Committee has also approved for immediate floor action H R 712 The Sunshine for Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act of 2015 Here is the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards Factsheet The bill is designed to impede the ability of consumer and environmental groups to get consent decrees or settlements when they challenge an agency s violation of law The White House has issued a Statement of Administration Policy explaining that senior presidential staff would recommend a veto if the bill passes But wait there s more The floor package for HR 712 includes HR 690 a seemingly innocous provision requiring that agencies post 50 word summaries of proposed rules Again in Dissenting Views by Judiciary Ranking Member John Conyers MI he states the very real concern that the provision would be subject to judicial review and therefore that H R 690 would provide yet another way for opponents of a proposed rulemaking to delay or derail its finalization on the ground that a summary was somehow not in accordance with law or not in observance of procedure for example But wait there s more The floor package also includes HR 1759 the so called ALERT All Economic Regulations Are Transparent Act As committee dissenters explain H R 1759 the ALERT Act is another attack on agency rulemakings that is mischaracterized by its proponents as improving transparency H R 1759 would be unnecessarily burdensome for agencies Agencies already are required to provide status updates twice a year on their plans for proposing and finalizing rules pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866 This bill would require agencies to report monthly The bill would impose an arbitrary and unnecessary moratorium on rulemakings that would prohibit a rule from taking effect until the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs OIRA has posted certain information online for at least six months VW Bailout Finally we call your attention to another PIRG opposed bill ready for floor action this week HR 1927 The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015 Here is our 70 group letter of opposition to the House today Under the broadest interpretation of the bill s intent and effect it would wipe out the class action mechanism by requiring all victims to suffer the exact same injury or harm in type and scope So if we both have accounts at one bank and our bank s illegal practices harm me for two years for 100 and you for one year for 50 we could not join the same class If a VW Defeat Device reduces the value of my 2011 diesel by 2000 but your 2010 diesel by only 1000 we couldn t join the same class even though class actions are really the only way to hold VW accountable to its customers Of course HR 1927 affects all consumer worker and environmental class actions not only those against VW

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/eds-blog/usp/house-tees-vw-bailout-and-other-attacks-public-protections-consumer-rights (2016-04-27)
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  • Five Things You Should Know About DuPont Chemical Company | PennPIRG
    3 This point speaks to how weak our federal regulation of toxic chemicals is sadly it s no surprise that PFOA is not restricted There is so little regulatory oversight of these chemical companies that toxic chemicals can easily slip through the cracks We see a situation that has gone from Washington Works to statewide to the United States and now it s everywhere it s global We ve taken the cap off something here But it s not just DuPont Good God There are over 60 000 unregulated chemicals out there right now We have no idea what we re talking said Joe Kiger a resident of Parkersburg West Virginia whose drinking water was contaminated with PFOA 2 Rob Bilott the lawyer who uncovered DuPont s decades long cover up and fought for appropriate repercussions is currently litigating Wolf v DuPont the second of the personal injury cases against DuPont The plaintiff John Wolf of Parkersburg West Virginia argues that PFOA in his drinking water caused him to develop ulcerative colitis and his trial begins in March 2 3 DuPont never admitted liability When DuPont reached a settlement with the EPA in 2006 after being accused of concealing its knowledge of PFOA s toxicity and presence in the environment it had to pay up millions but never had to admit liability Throughout the decades DuPont has continued to deny deny deny They ve denied the toxicity of PFOA they ve denied their knowledge of the subject and they ve denied wrongdoing in case after case after case 4 In fact in July of 2015 DuPont created the Chemours Company a spinoff from DuPont s Teflon unit Residents of Ohio and West Virginia view this spinoff as an attempt to separate DuPont from Teflon related legal troubles In 2004 DuPont agreed to pay 235 million to monitor the health of residents around Parkersburg Virginia Now with Chemours in debt and assuming DuPont s PFOA liabilities there is concern that DuPont is evading its responsibilities 5 4 Safety records at DuPont plants are inexcusable On November 15th 2014 four employees were killed in an incident at a DuPont plant in La Porte Texas The U S Chemical Safety Board s investigation found lapses and failures in DuPont s safety planning and procedures that regularly put workers and the surrounding community at risk and concluded that with appropriate safety procedures the fatal toxic leak could have been prevented 6 DuPont is not alone many of the largest chemical companies in the country have had similar safety problems but the company is a crucial illustration of the larger problem Powerful chemical companies fail to implement adequate safety regulations they are investigated and eventually fined and nothing changes Fines aren t changing safety behavior because even the largest ones mean nothing to these companies In their 2015 report Blowing Smoke the Center for Effective Government CEG explains the ineffectiveness of fines DuPont reported 3 6 billion in profits in 2014 or around 6 849

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/five-things-you-should-know-about-dupont-chemical-company (2016-04-27)
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  • The State of Antibiotics 2016 | PennPIRG
    last case scenarios after doctors have exhausted all other options known as MCR 1 was discovered on a Chinese pig farm last November Shortly after its discovery in China the same gene was found in Denmark then in the UK Canada and as of Jan 8th France Germany and Vietnam What s worse that colistin resistance doesn t come alone Recent reports suggest that the MCR 1 gene can combine with other factors to make some bacteria resistant to other potent drugs these multi drug resistant bacteria the ultimate superbugs are spreading Researchers have shown that the emergence of this resistant gene and its spread between animals and humans worldwide was largely caused by its misuse and overuse in agriculture The last resort drug was introduced to agriculture in some countries during periods of limited human use Thankfully the U S was not one of them But in those nations that did approve colistin for agricultural use we re realizing the devastating repercussions that any routine use of antibiotics can and most likely will have Now We re watching our demise in real time Lance Price PhD microbiologist and founder of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center at George Washington University told National Geographic Evidence is mounting that it is only a matter of time before resistance develops to all classes of our life saving medicines unless we use them responsibly responsible use is not the meat industry standard Despite decades of warnings and limited federal efforts to curb antibiotic use in agriculture up to 70 of antibiotics sold in the U S are used on livestock and poultry Many of these antibiotics are used on animals that aren t sick to compensate for disease ridden conditions and to make animals grow fatter faster Experts worldwide agree that this trend is directly contributing to the rise and spread of deadly bacteria Yet sales data shows that agricultural usage has increased 23 over the last five years despite these warnings As antibiotic resistance rises to become one of the premier public health concerns of the year and coming decades it makes no sense at all to continue a practice that hastens the growth and spread of these deadly bacteria and dissolves a key pillar of modern medicine It doesn t have to be this way We can help put an end to one of the key contributors to antibiotic resistance by mobilizing overwhelming public support for fast food restaurants some of the largest single purchasers of meat in the country to commit to serving only meat raised without routine antibiotics We launched our marketplace efforts at the start of 2015 to tremendous success First McDonald s committed to stop selling chicken raised on medically important antibiotics then Subway went one step further by committing to phase out the use of antibiotics from its entire meat supply As public support for such changes gained visibility other major restaurants like Noodles and Company and Papa John s made their own commitments and major industrial

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/state-antibiotics-2016 (2016-04-27)
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  • Progress in 2015 and hope for the new year | PennPIRG
    antibiotics options on their menus With these major chains and hundreds of thousands of consumers on board we continued to urge the restaurant chain with more locations than any other in America Subway We sent out canvassers and field staff worked with similar organizations and the media organized tens of thousands of health care professionals and made quite a racket online all to convince the eat fresh franchise that a move to meat raised without routine antibiotics was good for consumers and their business It worked Six months into our determined campaign Subway set one of the strongest commitments to meat raised without antibiotics to date As a result we ll see more major meat producers wean their operations off of antibiotics over the next few years chicken turkey beef and pork We couldn t celebrate long Shortly after Subway s announcement news of a new antibiotic resistant strain of E Coli came in from China then Denmark And reports of a particularly virulent strain of resistant CRE bacteria nicknamed the phantom menace bacteria spread across the nation These developments strengthened our drive for change Experts officials and advocates have known for decades that routine non therapeutic use of antibiotics on meat producing animals is dangerous Yet it continues The recent FDA annual report suggests it s accelerating As resistance rises with it the practice is more blatantly irresponsible than ever and must end That s why the progress we made in the marketplace is so critically important It shows that the public is not going to stand by and watch as powerful special interests willfully ignore a major public health crisis McDonald s Subway and the others are now or soon will be pushing the market in the right direction but they aren t enough To put an end

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/progress-2015-and-hope-new-year (2016-04-27)
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  • All I want for Christmas is responsibly-raised meat. | PennPIRG
    With more marketplace actors like you on our side we can put a definitive end to a practice that is as nonsensical as it is dangerous the routine use of antibiotics on livestock and poultry This practice breeds antibiotics resistant bacteria which can rapidly multiply spread off of the farm and into communities via contaminated water soil or food The infections caused by these so called superbugs can be difficult and increasingly impossible to treat because the medicines we have to treat them simply don t work That s where you come in KFC In 2015 McDonald s committed to phasing out the use of human antibiotics from its chicken Noodles Company and Subway joined them with commitments to all their meat While your commitment to not use critically important antibiotics is a step in the right direction the antibiotics defined as such are very few and a substantial number of medically important antibiotics remain open for misuse A commitment to phase out the routine use of all human antibiotics is not only critical to protect public health it s also good for business Make no mistake I m not alone in wanting meat raised without routine antibiotics on the menu When you commit to helping save antibiotics you ll be meeting the demands of a growing number consumers and nearly all health care professionals are concerned about the routine use of antibiotics in meat production That s a lot of happy potential customers our gift to you Truth be told I m hoping every large restaurant chain will join the list of leaders committed to protecting antibiotics But I m writing to you KFC in part because the chicken industry is changing faster than the beef and pork industries and chicken is your calling card Not to mention that

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/all-i-want-christmas-responsibly-raised-meat (2016-04-27)
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  • It keeps getting better | PennPIRG
    expected to grow worse When restaurant chains make commitments to serve meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics it pressures their suppliers to change their ways The more chains the more pressure Papa John s is following on the heels of 2015 commitments from Subway Noodles Company and McDonald s Earlier trendsetters like Chipotle Panera and Chick fil A plus other regional chains continue to demonstrate that meat raised without antibiotics is not only critical for public health it s smart business Incidentally Papa John s is based in Louisville I m hoping another Louisville chain Kentucky Fried Chicken gets the same memo that this is good for public health and popular with consumers With four major restaurant chains making announcements on antibiotics 2015 was a good year Somewhere down the line as more farming operations change the way they use antibiotics in order to supply these restaurant chains the FDA or Congress will adopt an across the board policy After all it s more politically palatable to regulate the industry laggards than it is to take on an entire industry So to Papa John s I say this thank you for joining the list of industry leaders on antibiotics and know that we hope to see a commitment for other meats in the near future Public Health Food Search form Search About Issues Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics Campaign for Safe Energy Democracy For The People Stop the Highway Boondoggles Close Corporate Tax Loopholes Making Health Care Work Protecting Consumers Label GMO Foods Reining in Wall Street Act Now Jobs Donate Newsroom Resources Reports Get our RSS feed Our Affiliates Our Sister c 3 Are you a student Our Federation Featured Position PennPIRG Internship Work on some of the hottest political issues of the day from fighting the

    Original URL path: http://www.pennpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/it-keeps-getting-better (2016-04-27)
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