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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | COVID-19

Statement: SBA data breach puts business owners at risk of ID theft and other fraud

The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Tuesday that the personal information of nearly 8,000 business owners applying for federal disaster loans had been exposed. The breach affects applicants to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), and may have included names, Social Security numbers, addresses, birth dates, email addresses, phone numbers, citizenship statuses and insurance information.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

COVID-19 consumer tips: Scams, utility bills and your stimulus check

Boston-- In the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, American consumers are experiencing numerous public health and financial challenges, including virus-related scams, fake products promising cures and price gouging. To help address these concerns and more, MASSPIRG Education Fund is publishing new guides and tips each week to help consumers navigate this crisis.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

Consumer complaints of COVID-19 fraud surpass 15,000

Scammers and other bad actors are trying to take advantage of Americans’ heightened fears around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and fraud complaints are soaring. Consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the virus surpassed 15,000 Thursday.

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips, COVID-19

State legislators from 45 states, including Massachusetts, demand online marketplaces end coronavirus price gouging

Boston—Twenty-five state legislators joined their peers across the nation calling on the country’s top online marketplaces to crack down on price gouging amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Together, 346 legislators representing 45 states, joined MASSPIRG Education Fund in sending a letter Tuesday urging Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook and Walmart to quickly implement preventative measures on their platforms to ensure that consumers don’t get taken advantage of during this public health crisis. Less than two weeks ago, 33 attorneys general, including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, sent a similar letter to the same companies.

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News Release | COVID-19

Massachusetts mayors join national call to urge the Trump Administration to centrally purchase and distribute medical supplies

More than 100 mayors and county executives across 17 states delivered a letter to the Trump administration today urging the federal government to use its emergency powers to ramp up production of critical medical supplies like ventilators and masks, and to centrally distribute those materials. Several Massachusetts mayors joined the call, including Paul Brodeur of Melrose, Michael Cahill of Beverly, Gary Christenson of Malden, Carlo DeMaria of Everett, Kimberley Driscoll of Salem, Thomas McGee of Lynn, Jon Mitchell of New Bedford, Alex Morse of Holyoke, Dan Rivera of Lawrence, Domenic Sarno of Springfield, Sumbul Siddiqui of Cambridge, and Yvonne Spicer of Framingham.  

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Statement on Walmart’s Decision to Strengthen Chemical Footprint Policy

MASSPIRG Education Fund applauds retail giant Walmart for updating its sustainability policy to restrict toxic chemicals in 90,000 products including cosmetics and skincare items, infant products, and household cleaners.

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

CarMax Survey Finds 27% of Vehicles for Sale with Dangerous Unrepaired Safety Recalls

The nation’s largest retailer of used cars, CarMax, has more than doubled the percentage of dangerous, defective unrepaired recalled used cars for sale to consumers, according to Used Car Roulette, a new report released today by the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety Foundation, MASSPIRG Education Fund, and the Center for Auto Safety. 

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Agency votes to begin rulemaking process to protect American children, firefighters from hazardous flame retardant chemicals

Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) took three critical steps toward protecting consumers and firefighters from the hazards posed by a class of flame retardant chemicals (known as “organohalogens”). The CPSC directed the Commission’s staff to begin the rulemaking process to ban the sale of four categories of consumer products if they contain these chemicals. Once again, the CPSC has made an important action for consumers.

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Statement on Unilever Starting to Disclose Fragrances via SmartLabel

Statement from MASSPIRG Education Fund Toxics Advocate Dev Gowda on Unilever Starting to Disclose Fragrances via SmartLabel

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Media Hit | Public Health

Get the Lead Out: Parents urged to take action on lead in school drinking water

As children head back to school, public health advocates are equipping parents with resources to address the issue of lead contamination in school water fountains.

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Report | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection, Food

Total Food Recall

No Progress in Reducing Foodborne Illness

Over the past few years, Americans have grown accustomed to seeing headlines about tainted food being recalled and pulled off of store shelves.  These high-profile recalls leave many Americans wondering whether enough is being done to reduce the risk of contaminated food and foodborne illness. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Million-Dollar Megaphones

Outside spending by organizations that aggregate unlimited contributions from wealthy individuals and institutions is playing a significant role in the 2012 election cycle, and much of it is not disclosed.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Food

Apples to Twinkies 2012

At a time when America is facing an obesity epidemic, crushing debt and a weak economy, billions of taxpayer dollars are subsidizing junk food ingredients. In this report, we find that in 2011, over $1.28 billion in taxpayer subsidies went to junk food ingredients, bringing the total to a staggering $18.2 billion since 1995. To put that figure in perspective, $18.2 billion is enough to buy 2.9 billion Twinkies every year - 21 for every single American taxpayer.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Higher Ed

The Campus Debit Card Trap

A new report released by MASSPIRG Education Fund finds that banks and financial firms now control or influence federal financial aid disbursement to over 9 million students by linking their checking accounts and prepaid debit cards to student IDs. For decades, students would receive their aid by check, without being charged any fees to access their financial aid. Now students end up paying big fees on their student aid, including per-swipe fees of $.50, inactivity fees of $10 or more after 6 months, overdraft fees of up to $38 and plenty more.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Budget, Tax

Picking up the Tab

Some U.S.-based multinational firms or individuals avoid paying U.S. taxes by transferring their earnings to tax haven countries with minimal or no taxes. These tax haven users benefit from their access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab.

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Blog Post | Transportation

Millennials Want More Public Transportation

A new poll shows that access to public transportation is “very important” for Millennials in considering where to live and where to work.  The results support our research over the past few years that found Millennials are driving less than older generations and are more prone to walk, bike, or take transit to get where they need to go.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Don’t get spooked by phantom debt collectors | Jeanne Foy

The phone rings and a scary voice on the other end tells you that you owe them money and need to pay up… or else. The caller leads you to believe that a recent loan you took out has come due and that its time to pay or face legal action. Frightening, right?

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Blog Post | Public Health

Tastes like victory! | Bill Wenzel

I am excited to announce that, yesterday, Subway announced plans to transition all of their meats to be antibiotic-free. As the largest fast food chain on the planet, Subway is poised to drive real change in the industry and help keep antibiotics working for future generations.

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Blog Post | Public Health

Victory: Subway Commits to Help Save Antibiotics | Steve Blackledge

Today, Subway announced a plan to phase out antibiotics from it's entire meat supply in response to mounting consumer demand for stronger action by the chain to help save antibiotics from overuse.

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

THE CFPB IS 4 YEARS OLD AND HAS A LOT TO SHOW FOR IT! | Ed Mierzwinski

We're keeping busy promoting the CFPB's 4th birthday. Tuesday, July 21, marks four years to the day since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened its doors to protect consumers and make financial markets work. CFPB was established by Congress just one year before that, with the July 21, 2010 passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in the wake of the financial collapse of 2007-2008, caused by a lack of adequate regulation.

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Blog Post

This blog is the second in a series examining policy solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that are proven and replicable. This section covers recycled content requirements.

News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

A month after announcing a weak plan to reduce heavy metals in baby food, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new plan Thursday aimed at making baby food safer over the next several years.

Blog Post

We spoke to Je’May Ward, a clean beauty blogger from North Carolina, about what clean beauty advocacy means for her.

News Release | MASSPIRG

MENLO PARK, CA -- Facebook users need to be extra vigilant in the weeks and months ahead because identity thieves could use information from their accounts to try and commit fraud.

 

Reports emerged Saturday that a hacker published data from more than 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including 32 million Americans. The compromised data includes full names, phone numbers, Facebook IDs, birthdates, bios, locations and, in some cases, email addresses, according to Business Insider.

Blog Post

This blog is the first in a series examining policy solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that are proven and replicable. This section covers single-use plastic product bans.

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MASSPIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.