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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. 

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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. 

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Burger King commits to eliminating toxic “forever chemicals” in food packaging globally

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced Wednesday evening a new global commitment to eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging used in its restaurants by 2025.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Tips to protect yourself against cyberattacks from Russia (or anywhere else) | Teresa Murray

The new threat of cyberattacks may have you wondering what you can do to protect yourself. It’s a great time to remind you about best practices you should already be following.

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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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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Food

Food recalls decline in 2021, but that doesn’t mean food is safer

Significantly fewer foods and beverages were recalled in 2021 than in 2020. But fewer recalls doesn’t necessarily mean food was safer last year.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Solid Waste

Shareholders call on Whole Foods to eliminate single-use plastic packaging

Grocery stores like Whole Foods have a major part to play in the fight against plastic pollution.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report: President Biden’s first year in office marks progress on numerous environmental fronts

Following years of rollbacks, President Joe Biden began his term nearly a year ago amidst unprecedented environmental and public health challenges. Despite these obstacles, his administration has made significant strides toward restoring lost environmental protections and confronting daunting threats to our climate and public health, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. 

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News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

STATEMENT: New tip guide reveals how to spot counterfeit merchandise when shopping for gifts online

As we get deeper into the 2021 holiday season, online shoppers need to beware of counterfeit products, from knockoff sports merchandise to fake-branded perfumes or electronics that aren’t genuine.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Make the Ringing Stop

Research by PIRG Education Fund shows that among 49 of the largest phone companies nationwide (those that can serve 1 million or more), only 16 have reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have completely implemented anti-robocall technology. What does this mean? It means the industry isn’t doing nearly as much as hoped to fight the crime that for years has caused so much heartache and aggravation among consumers nationwide.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

The CFPB Turns 10

As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) turns 10 years old, a new report from MASSPIRG Education Fund recaps how the agency has helped consumers over the past decade and the steps under way to refocus the CFPB on its mission after three years of retrograde decisions under the Trump Administration. The report also provides recommendations for CFPB action moving forward, especially on credit reporting.

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

Chain Reaction VI

The Chain Reaction VI report and scorecard ranks America’s top restaurant chains on their policies relating to antibiotic use in their beef supply chains. 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. MASSPIRG Education Fund analyzed this growing problem for Virtual Wallets, Real Complaints, a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Looking Inward 2021

Some of the largest cosmetic and personal care companies are doing a poor job informing the public on what ingredients are going into their products, hiding potentially toxic chemicals from consumers. This report found 20 of 26 surveyed brands had failed to adequately disclose product ingredients to consumers and the average ingredient disclosure score was 5.56 out of 10, or an F, pointing to a need for improvement across the industry.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

Dealing with winter storm Kenan: Protect yourself, your home and your finances | Teresa Murray

With the massive winter storm that's expected to hit the East Coast this weekend, here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves during and after a disaster, including how to spot possible opportunists, bad deals and con-artists.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

Airlines choose money over safety with relaxed COVID policies | Jacob van Cleef

Though reducing isolation periods saves airlines money, it is the most irresponsible choice that could lead to more employees and customers getting sick.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Why the CPSC can't do enough to protect consumers from dangerous products | Hannah Rhodes

Of the 23 deaths reported in connection with products recalled in 2021, 19 actually occurred in previous years. It can take months or years for the public to be warned about dangerous products because federal laws favor corporations, not consumers.

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Blog Post | COVID-19

How to spot counterfeit N95, KN95 masks before you buy them | Teresa Murray

You may be setting aside those cloth or surgical masks and shopping for some N95 masks or KN95s that are supposed to be widely available. But . . . there unfortunately are lots of counterfeit products out there too.
 

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Report | MASSPIRG Education Fund

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.

News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund

BOSTON-- When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled 225 varieties of bagged lettuce, spinach and salad products in December because of potentially deadly contamination, it took the FDA a week to post a public notice on its web site. While many stores quickly notify customers of recalls one way or another, they’re not required to, and their practices are neither uniform nor always timely. Meanwhile, the ​​Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimatesthat one in six Americans get sick each year from foodborne diseases. Of those,128,000 wind up in the hospital and 3,000 die.

Blog Post

We see hundreds of food recalls every year. Some lead to people being hospitalized or even dying. Consumers should consider what they can do to help protect themselves and their families by finding out about food recalls quickly.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

After decades of danger and more than 200 infant deaths, President Joe Biden signed the  Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law on Monday.

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Cities and states need to adopt policies and make investments designed to cut pollution and give people more options for getting where they need to go. 

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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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.