Reports

Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Food for thought: Are your groceries safe?

Two major recalls from the last seven months showcase the weaknesses in our food recall system: It often takes too long for companies and regulators to notify grocers, consumers, restaurants and food packagers, particularly regarding Class I recalls with a “reasonable probability” that exposure or use of the product could cause “serious adverse health consequences or death.” And once grocers find out, they aren’t required to contact customers who may have already purchased contaminated products. While many stores do quickly notify customers one way or another, the practices aren’t uniform and aren’t always timely. Meanwhile, people continue to get sick.

The ​​CDC estimates that one in six Americans become ill every year from foodborne diseases. Among those, 128,000 wind up in the hospital and 3,000 die.

Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Getting off the Hook of a Predatory Tow Part II

Driving is picking up again as the number of Americans heading to social gatherings, in-person work and vacations moves closer to pre-pandemic norms. More driving means more parking – maybe in unfamiliar areas.

Parkers have always run the risk of getting towed. But a new trend exacerbates that risk: Towing companies are giving private property owners kickbacks when the landowner notifies the companies about vehicles to tow -- whether the vehicle is defying parking regulations or not. Our new analysis, Getting Off the Hook of a Predatory Tow Part II, an update to our comprehensive 2021 report on towing protections in every state, finds that 16 states currently ban kickbacks, as others are considering such laws.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund, NRDC and Fashion FWD

Going Out of Fashion

PFAS use in apparel and other consumer products is coming under increased scrutiny from lawmakers. However, apparel manufacturers and retail stores don’t need to wait for the law to catch up to the proliferation of toxic PFAS. They can get out in front of the regulatory curve and protect their customers and the planet from PFAS pollution by immediately adopting policies to end the use of PFAS in clothing, footwear, and accessories. Indeed, some already have. 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund, NRDC and Fashion FWD surveyed the PFAS-related policies and commitments of 30 top U.S.-based apparel brands and retailers, including companies in the footwear, indoor apparel, and outdoor apparel sectors and several of the nation’s leading apparel retailers. We graded them on the basis of their time lines for PFAS phaseout, the range of products covered by their PFAS policy, and public availability of company PFAS commitments, as well as their PFAS labeling and testing protocols.

Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Going Out of Fashion

MASSPIRG, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.(NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard today ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products. 

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Electric School Buses and the Grid

Transitioning to electric school buses would provide numerous benefits to communities and the environment, including improving children’s health and reducing air and noise pollution. This new report details the the potential to bring even greater benefits if they are equipped with technology that allows them to deliver power to buildings and back to the grid.

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