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News Release | Consumer Protection

Unilever: Go Toxic-Free

On Valentine’s Day, consumer groups thank Unilever for great first step in disclosing fragrance ingredients and call on personal care giant to go toxic-free.

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Blog Post | Health Care

PIRG applauds decisions blocking health insurance mega-mergers

This week, in a big win for consumers, a district court took action to block the proposed merger between health insurance giants Anthem and Cigna. This decision follows a ruling last month that blocked the proposed merger of two more of the nation’s biggest for-profit health insurers, Aetna and Humana. These decisions come after months of work by U.S. PIRG and a broad coalition of consumer and health care groups, urging close scrutiny of the mergers from state and federal regulators and raising questions and concerns about the potential impact of the mergers.

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New lawsuit could force used car dealers to repair recalled vehicles

 "The Federal Trade Commission is supposed to crack down on false and deceptive advertising. Instead, they are encouraging it. They should have protected consumers but chose to protect reckless car dealers."

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News Release | Public Health

Statement on Unilever’s Decision to Disclose Fragrance Ingredients in Personal Care Products

MASSPIRG applauds personal care product giant Unilever US, the maker of popular brands like Dove and Axe, for its announcement today that it will increase fragrance ingredient transparency in its personal care brands.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Public Health

Starbucks Ditches Routine Use of Medically Important Antibiotics in Poultry

Starbucks announced a commitment today to serve only poultry raised without the routine use of medically important antibiotics in U.S. stores by 2020 after dialogue with Green Century Capital Management, a leader in environmentally responsible investing. The Seattle-based chain’s commitment may help push the meat industry further away from overusing life-saving medicines.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

New Report: Consumers Should Get Security Freezes Before Next Data Breach

Credit monitoring and other services that are usually offered to data breach victims and other concerned consumers do nothing to prevent identity theft; they only detect certain types of fraud after it has occurred. A report and consumer fact sheet released today by the MASSPIRG Education Fund aim to increase the awareness and use of the security freeze, also known as a credit freeze. The report explains that the freeze is the only security measure that can prevent new account identity theft.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Food

Consumer Group, Activists Hold ‘Thank You’ Events in Front of Subway

On October 20th Subway announced that it is making the shift to serving meat raised without antibiotics. The sandwich giant will serve only antibiotic free chicken by the end of 2016, with a shift on turkey by 2019, and pork and beef completed by 2025. The decision came in anticipation of a petition delivery to headquarters of more than 270,000 petition signatures by MASSPIRG staff and other advocacy groups. 

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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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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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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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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in Favor of Cell Phone Users’ Bill of Rights (SB 1692) | Deirdre Cummings

For too long, consumers have been getting blindsided by surprise charges on their cellphone bills. Wireless companies are not providing adequate, uniform tools for people to keep up with their accounts. Notifying customers before they exceed their limits is a simple, effective way to prevent ‘bill shock.’”

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Blog Post

Testimony in Support of An Act to Promote Efficiency and Transparency in Economic Development | Deirdre Cummings

State and municipal investments of public dollars in private enterprises must be held to highest level of transparency and accountability in order to ensure the most efficient use of our limited and valuable tax dollars. Currently, transparency and accountability of the economic development tax subsidies are poor and/or non-existent in some cases. As a result, while many of the subsidies may be worthwhile investments, others are not. And worse, there is not enough publicly accessible information to identify if or which subsidies are in fact benefiting the state, and if so, to what extent and at what cost.

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