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Blog Post | Public Health

Not-so-secret-Santas in Congress Using Spending Bill To Roll Back Health, Safety, Wallet Protections | Ed Mierzwinski

With spending authorization for the federal government set to end on December 11, Congressional leaders are working with powerful special interests on their not-so-Secret-Santa lists to use spending bills as vehicles to gut health, safety and wallet protections popular with the general public but not with Wall Street or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They know they cannot win a fair fight. So they’re loading up the must-pass funding bill with so-called “riders,” which are unrelated policies that couldn’t get passed on their own. Everything we fought for in Wall Street reform, including the CFPB, is on the chopping block. So are many other PIRG health, safety, wallet and democracy priorities.

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Result | Health Care

Consumer-Friendly Health Care

In the fall of 2015, the state Legislature passed a series of CALPIRG-backed bills designed to help promote a more consumer-friendly and affordable health care system in California. State Bill (SB) 137 will give consumers accurate, up-to-date information about their health plan’s network; Assembly Bill (AB) 339 will ensure people with chronic health conditions are not discriminated against by insurers; AB 1305 will limit deductibles and annual out-of-pocket maximums for individual members of families; and SB 546 will require health insurance companies to justify rate increases for large employers’ health insurance plans.

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30 years of toy safety

For the past thirty years, our sister organization U.S. PIRG Education Fund has taken a close look at the safety of toys sold in stores. Their reports have led to more than 150 regulatory actions. In November 2015, they released our 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

30th Annual Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to California Public Interest Research Group Education Fund’s 30th annual Trouble in Toyland report. The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping this holiday season. The report reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for toxic chemicals, including chromium and phthalates, both of which can have serious, adverse health impacts on a child’s development. The survey also found examples of toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that can threaten children’s hearing, and powerful toy magnets that can cause serious injury if swallowed.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland

For 30 years, CALPIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which has led to over 150 recalls and other regulatory actions over the years, and has helped educate the public and policymakers on the need for continued action to protect the health and wellbeing of children. Among the toys surveyed this year, we found potential choking and noise hazards, one toy that exceeded federal toxic standards, and three toys that preliminary testing showed may exceed federal toxic standards.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Consumer Protection

GOOD NEWS FOR CONSUMERS & FIRMS THAT WANT TO PLAY FAIR

Statement of Jon Fox, CALPIRG Consumer Advocate, on the Senate Confirmation of Richard Cordray to Full Term as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director

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Media Hit | Public Health

Government pays billions to grow ingredients in junk food

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

A new consumer report reveals most government subsidies for farmers are being funneled toward crops used to make junk food.

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Media Hit | Public Health

Apples to Twinkies Study

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.- Apples or Twinkies? When it comes to your child's health it's an obvious choice, but now a new study shows where your money is really going when it comes to the products on the shelves, you have to choose from.

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Media Hit | Public Health

Group releases report in Santa Cruz on government food subsidies

Half an apple sat next to 20 Twinkies, symbolizing the government subsidies of corn-laden processed food compared with apples. Apples receive just a fraction of federal money subsidizing corn and soy products, according to the California Public Interest Research Group.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Food

Ag Subsidies Pay for 20 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Sacremento, CA – Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high-fructose corn syrup, at a rate that would buy 20 Twinkies for each taxpayer every year, according to CALPIRG’s new report, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.” Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer. 
 

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DEFEND THE CFPB

Tell your representative to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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