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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 | MASSPIRG | Financial Reform

Statement of MASSPIRG Executive Director Janet Domenitz Opposing “CRomnibus” Appropriations "Rider" to Repeal the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

We join others, including Americans for Financial Reform and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, in condemning this backdoor, backroom appropriations "rider" to weaken the Wall Street reform law's protections for taxpayers and Main Street from the risky derivatives swaps that led to the 2008 financial collapse and recession.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

Retailer pulls dangerous toy off shelves following Trouble in Toyland Report

Following the release of MASSPIRG's 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report, one retailer has removed a toxic product from store shelves.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group’s 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, parents and caregivers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Solid Waste

Question 2 Coalition Calls upon Industry to Promote Recycling in Massachusetts

The coalition behind Question 2, to update the bottle bill, called upon the bottling industry and supermarket chains that poured $9 million to defeat question 2 to live up to their ads and produce specific plans showing how they will work to increase the rate of recycling of non-carbonated beverage containers to 80% statewide. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Public Health

New Poll Reveals Overwhelming Majority of Doctors Concerned About Antibiotics Use on Healthy Food Animals

The overwhelming majority of doctors--a total of 93 percent--are concerned about the common meat industry practice of using antibiotics on healthy animals for growth promotion and disease prevention, according to a new poll released today commissioned by Consumer Reports and released by Consumers Union and U.S. PIRG.

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'How You Drive' Takes a Backseat to 'Who You Are'

Under the new “managed competition” rating system, “who you are” has become more important than “how you drive.” Starting in April, factors relating to “who you are” – income, marital status, homeownership, education, age, race, and other factors supposedly prohibited for use by the Division of Insurance – will take center stage in the Massachusetts auto insurance market. Driving record is no longer the primary rating factor and is now a diluted factor.

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Mixed Signals

MASSPRG conducts survey of national TV retails stores and finds that consumers are getting Mixed Signals.

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Trouble in Toyland

For several years, we have reported that 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). Yet, as many have noted, 2007 has been described as the “year of the recall.” Millions of toys, including famous playthings like Thomas the Tank Engine and Barbie, have been recalled in 2007. Many of these toys have been from leading manufacturers like Mattel, and most were imported from China.

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Derailed by Debt

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) faces an uncertain financial future over the next five years. With debt service payments increasing, along with other costs, the MBTA will face sizeable budget gaps forcing the Authority to choose among unhealthy options to close these structural deficits. These options primarily include: further dramatic fare increases, service reductions, or more borrowing.

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Forgiving Fraud and Failure

Companies with immediate past histories of shoddy work and fraudulent practices are being rewarded with billions of dollars in federal contracts. The data suggest that the process by which the federal government currently spends $422 billion per year in taxpayer funds is insufficient to ensure that the American people receive good quality for goods and services purchased for the American people.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

The CFPB is now taking your credit bureau complaints | Deirdre Cummings

Excellent news! The CFPB is now taking your complaints about credit bureaus and credit reports.

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Blog Post | Budget, Financial Reform, Tax

You're Invited to "We're not Broke" | Deirdre Cummings

MASSPIRG Invites you to a special screening of the new movie We're Not Broke
Thursday, Oct. 18  -  6:30 PM - Harvard Kennedy School
Wiener Auditorium
, Ground Floor of the Taubman Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB says 1 in 5 credit scores sold to consumers have "meaningful" differences from scores lenders useDeirdre CummingsEd Mierzwinski

The CFPB has confirmed what consumer advocates have been saying all along. Credit scores heavily marketed to consumers aren't the same as those used by lenders; at least 1 in 5 consumer scores have "meaningful" differences and that "score discrepancies may generate consumer harm." That's why we call them FAKO scores.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Financial Reform

It happened 4 years ago this weekend, and Congress has already forgottenDeirdre CummingsEd Mierzwinski

Four years ago, on September 14-15, 2008, the Lehman Brothers investment bank declared bankruptcy while Bank of America acquired another foundering investment bank, Merrill Lynch -- major events that froze the financial markets and led in a few days to a $700 billion bailout of the financial system. Just four years later, some in the Congress have forgotten that real people and the economy are still suffering from the financial collapse, as it steps up Wall Street-backed efforts to prevent regulators from protecting the public.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Consumers Seeing Benefits of Credit CARD Act Protections | Deirdre Cummings

The MASSPIRG-backed Credit CARD Act improved consumer disclosures, protected college students and young people from unfair marketing and also banned the worst tricks used by credit card companies. In particular, it made it much harder to trick or force consumers into paying late fees, and so, as the story explains:
"Customers are also happier when it comes to both annual fees and penalty fees charged by credit card companies. When it comes to penalty fees, “One of the reasons the score is getting better is because fewer customers are having their late fees increased,” says Jim Miller, senior director of J.D. Power’s banking practice."

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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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