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Consumer protection
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Wed Jul 16

Consumers Target Walgreens Over 'Toxic Products'; Public Pressure Grows Over Antibiotics Use In Livestock (VIDEO)

A small group of health advocates, dog owners and Walgreens customers in Chicago called on the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to remove products that, they say, contain harmful chemicals from its shelves.

"Many major retailers in the Chicago area such as Target, Bed Bath & (Beyond), even Walmart have taken direct action to begin to remove some of the worst toxic chemicals from their products, and unfortunately, Walgreens, the flagship of Illinois, has refused to make a commitment to take action on these products," said Lynda DeLaforgue, co-director of Citizen Action/Illinois, which organized the Wednesday morning protest outside of the new Walgreens store at 410 N. Michigan Ave. in the Wrigley Building. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Public News Service
3:44pm
Tue Apr 29

Will Internet Be Pay To Play?

Creating a "pay to play" system runs counter to what the Internet has been from the beginning, according to a watchdog group. Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction.org, said thousands of people are signing petitions protesting a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal that would allow broadband Internet providers to give content providers, like Netflix or ESPN, faster download speeds for higher prices - prices that would no doubt be passed on to customers. 

"We're basically telling the FCC that we need an open Internet - that it shouldn't be 'payola,' it shouldn't be big corporations that have the money get to go in the 'fast lane,' and people without the money have to chug along in a big traffic jam on the Internet," Solomon said. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Anthony Burke Boylan
9:11pm
Thu Apr 17

Madigan's Office Investigating Herbalife Pyramid Scheme Allegations

Miguel Calderon thought he was part of the American Dream when he heard about Herbalife. You put your money to work to make more money, he believed. He started with an $11,000 investment, using his savings that he earned while working at Abbott Laboratories.

But every time the Waukegan resident asked why all of his efforts for the nutrition and diet company failed to yield any profits, he was told he needed to invest more. By the time he realized there were no profits to be had, he had invested more than $20,000 in what a Latino advocacy group says is a pyramid scheme that preys on immigrants, in particular.

"Herbalife knows Latinos are easily victimized because they face barriers in language, and culture and legal status,’’ said Julie Contreras, president of the League of Latino American United Citizens of Lake County. “We came out and supported Attorney General Lisa Madigan in her election, now we want to see her support our community.’’ Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:10pm
Tue Oct 22, 2013

Consumer Advocates Want An End To Prescription Drug ‘Pay-For-Delay’ Deals

People in Illinois with various medical conditions have had to fork over 10 times more on average than what’s necessary for at least 20 brand name drugs, according to a report from Illinois PIRG and Community Catalyst.

Costs for these 20 drugs, including Lipitor and Cipro, were kept high, because brand name pharmaceutical companies paid generic makers to keep cheaper versions off the market for a time. These agreements are known as “pay for delay.”

“It’s outrageous that drug companies are paying off the competition to keep prices high,” said Illinois PIRG State Director Brian Imus in a statement. “Because of this, people in Illinois pay inflated drug prices, or go without necessary medication. This needs to stop.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
5:37pm
Thu Sep 19, 2013

Hearing On The Pros & Cons Of Labeling Genetically Engineered Foods Sparks Intense Debate

Lourdes Garcia is resolute in her belief that genetically modified foods sickened her two small children.

“They had allergies, ADHD and the baby had a tumor,” said Garcia, a native of Brazil who has lived in Chicago for 20 years. “I had to just find out what the problem was, and that’s when I started doing research”

That research led her to genetically modified organisms or GMOs, which she believes contributed to her children’s poor health. So she changed the family’s diet, opting for more organic foods instead. Over time, her children’s health improved.

“All the health problems they had no longer exist,” Garcia said of her sons, now 14 and 19. “To me, food was food, and all the food was good. But I was wrong.”

Read more »