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Blog Post | Financial Reform

Privacy, We've Got Tips and Ideas For You, Congress and Regulators, Too | Ed Mierzwinski

Problems with privacy and data security are all over the news these days. We've got you covered, from releasing a new report and consumer tips on the security freeze today to testifying to Congress (last week) on payment card security and speaking on a panel at the FTC tomorrow on Internet lead generation (what's that?). Oh, and we're waiting for answers to our questions to the CFPB about the credit bureau Experian joining the ranks of the breached. We've been busy as we explain in this "roundup" blog entry.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund

Why You Should Get Security Freezes Before Your Information is Stolen

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. This report aims 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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Media Hit

ABC News: Subway to Transition to Meat Raised Without Antibiotics

Subway said Tuesday that it plans to switch to meat raised without antibiotics over the next several years. The announcement comes after the company was targeted by advocacy groups calling for the change, with a coalition planning to deliver petitions to Subway's headquarters on Thursday.

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News Release | CALPIRG

Public Interest Groups Support California Intent to Label Glyphosate Carcinogenic

Nearly 20 food, farming, public health and environmental organizations submitted a letter in support of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA’s) determination to list glyphosate as a substance known to the State of California to cause cancer.

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Blog Post | Public Health

A Sub-stantial Achievement | Steve Blackledge

On October 20, Subway announced its plan to phase out antibiotics from its entire meat supply. This victory is just the next step of our mission to save antibiotics.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Food

Bill to Label GMOs Narrowly Fails on California Senate Floor

SACRAMENTO — A bill that would require the labeling of all foods sold in California containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) narrowly failed on the California Senate floor today, falling just two votes short of the 21 it needed to pass.

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Media Hit | Health Care

New Report Shows Rate Review Process Saved Californians $349M Since 2011

Californians have saved $349 million on health insurance under a rate review process established in 2011, according to a report from the California Public Interest Research Group. However, the report released last month also shows that almost one million Californians paid higher premiums due to rate hikes state officials deemed "unreasonable."

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Media Hit | Food

California Genetically Modified Food Labeling Bill Passes Senate Committee

“This would just give consumers the ability to make informed decisions," says Austin Price with CALPIRG. "It’s about giving consumers information similar to the way nutrition information labels do.

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News Release | CALPIRG | Food

California GMO Labeling Bill Moves Forward

SACRAMENTO, CA — A bill that would require the labeling of all foods sold in California containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) advanced out of another policy committee today despite heavy opposition from big agribusinesses and biotech lobby groups. “Consumers have real concerns about the impact of GMOs,” said Austin Price, field director with CALPIRG. “From coast to coast, consumers are demanding the right to know how their food is produced.”

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News Release | CALPIRG | Public Health

Legislators, Health Professionals and Advocacy Groups Rally to Ensure Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Livestock

SACRAMENTO, CA  – Health profesionals, advocacy groups and legislators gathered in the State Capitol on Tuesday in support of AB 1437, a bill introduced by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin (CA-22) that seeks to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by limiting the use of medically important classes of antibiotics in meat and poultry production. AB 1437 would ensure that antibiotics are only given to animals when they are sick, and in rare circumstances, when there is a disease outbreak. Additionally, the bill would require meat companies to provide greater transparency about their exact antibiotic use. 

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace Brief #7

The exchange is a store where consumers can buy health insurance products – and anyone who’s worked retail knows that however much work has gone into crafting strong policies and building an efficient back-office, if customers  can’t understand, compare and choose the products that are right for them, it just won’t work.  

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Building a Better Health Care Marketplace: Policy Briefing #6

Medicaid will see its eligibility significantly increased in 2014, the same year the state exchange will open its doors. 

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Report | CALPIRG | Budget, Tax

Tax Shell Game

The United States loses approximately $100 billion in tax revenues every year due to corporations and individuals sending their money to offshore tax havens.

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Big Banks, Bigger Fees

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees. 

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Unacceptable Risk

American nuclear power plants are not immune to the types of natural disasters, mechanical failures, human errors, and losses of critical electric power supplies that have characterized major nuclear accidents such as the one at Fukushima Daiichi power plant in Japan. 

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

What meaningful California foreclosure reform should look like | Pedro Morillas

The foreclosure reform conference committee is expected to come out with their report next week, likely after the budget votes are wrapped up. Here is what CALPIRGis hoping ends up in the policy. If the legislation contains these elements it will help struggling borrowers stay in their homes and help California's economy right itself. 

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Blog Post | Food

Farm Bill Still Giving out Corporate Handouts to Big Ag | Emily Rusch

Instead of embracing reform, the Senate decided to continue to send tens of billions of taxpayer dollars to Big Ag. 

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Blog Post | Financial Reform

CFPB launches searchable credit card complaint database today | Ed Mierzwinski

Joining agencies including those that regulate cars (NHTSA's safercar.gov), toys and other consumer p roducts (CPSC's saferproducts.gov), medical devices (FDA's Maude) and airline service (DOT's sorta clunky Air Travel Consumer Protection Report), today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rolls out a searchable online complaint database (goes live 8am EST). The CFPB's new tool will be limited to credit cards to start, but other financial products will be added.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

As Wireless Plans Change, Consumers Are Priced Out

Verizon announced earlier this week that they would no longer be offering customers cheaper options for limited voice and text plans, shifting to unlimited voice and text minutes instead. While this change may benefit families or business on shared accounts, it will lead to price hikes for most individual smart-phone users.

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Blog Post | Democracy

Why Target Is Still a Target | Pedro Morillas

Two years ago, the public spoke out against the Supreme Court’s decision to allow unlimited corporate spending in politics when consumers boycotted Target Corporation for controversial political spending in Minnesota’s state elections. 

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Priority Action

We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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