In December, PIRG released “Big Banks, Big Overdraft Fees,” the eighth in a series of reports based on information provided by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Photo: Staff


We take a non-partisan, fact-driven, result-oriented approach to all of the campaigns we work on, and are building teams that can harness the research, political support and grassroots energy we need to get results.

Stop the overuse of antibiotics

We know antibiotics save lives. We know overusing antibiotics leaves them less effective. Yet we’re allowing agribusiness to buy 70% of all antibiotics sold in the U.S., to use on livestock and poultry. These lifesaving medicines are often given to animals that aren’t even sick, to account for crowded and unsanitary conditions. This breeds superbugs, and experts warn that unless we take action, antibiotics will stop working. So to get factory farms to change their practices, we convinced big chains like McDonald’s and Subway to stop serving meat raised on routine antibiotics. Now we’re targeting KFC, the largest fried chicken chain in the world — and together we’ll keep pushing more chains to change the industry.

Ban Roundup

There’s mounting evidence that the chemicals in Monsanto’s Roundup can cause serious health problems, including cancer and reproductive issues. Even worse? These chemicals are showing up in our rivers and in our food supply. Yet despite the evidence, Monsanto claims Roundup isn’t dangerous, and is even trying to convince the Environmental Protection Agency it doesn’t need to test it. We’re calling on the EPA to ban Roundup unless and until it’s proven safe.

Consumer protection

The recent financial crisis and the deep recession that followed delivered a devastating blow to American households. But in the aftermath, we worked to establish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and in just five years it’s returned nearly $12 billion to consumers wronged by unfair financial practices. At PIRG, we’re defending the CFPB from special interest attacks, working to convince our leaders to stop unfair banking practices, and empowering consumers when they’re defrauded or deceived.

21st Century Transportation

More and more Americans are looking for more ways to get around, including public transportation, biking and ride-sharing. But despite this, we’re still spending billions of dollars on highway expansion projects, instead of repairing the ones we have or investing in other options. Through research and advocacy, we’re putting the spotlight on these boondoggles, and pushing for a 21st century transportation system.

Pledge to be Toxic-Free

Why on earth would any company use chemicals that can disrupt our hormones or cause cancer in the products we put on our bodies every day? That’s both dangerous and unnecessary. We shouldn’t have to worry about putting our health at risk every time we get ready in the morning. So we’re doing the research into these products and chemicals, shining a spotlight on our findings, and publicly calling on the biggest names in the personal care industry to pledge to be toxic-free.

democracy for the people

Citizens United and other court decisions have defined corporations as people and equated money with speech. That makes no sense. So we’re working in 25 states to organize support to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. We’re also urging cities, counties and states to enact reforms that will boost the power of small donors, make it easier for people to register to vote and take part in our democracy, and get secret money out of our politics. And we won’t stop until regular Americans are back in the driver’s seat of our elections.

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