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  • FDA bans the dietary supplement ephedra two years after Public Citizen petitions for its removal and after 155 deaths.
  • Public Citizen research and lobbying plays critical role in defeating federal legislation that would unfairly restrict damages awarded to the seriously injured victims of medical malpractice.
  • Public Citizen launches WhiteHouseForSale.org, to track special-interest contributions to President Bush's 2004 campaign and analyze the record of favoritism, conflicts of interest and influence peddling related to those contributions.
    • Worst Pills, Best Pills News, an online version of the popular newsletter, is introduced to provide consumers regular updates on dangerous and ineffective drugs.
    • Public Citizen wins a federal appeals court ruling overturning an auto safety regulation allowing installation of ineffective tire-monitoring systems on vehicle dashboards, forcing the issuance of an effective rule.

    • 2002

      • Congress bans passes first major campaign finance reform, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, since Watergate era – banning “soft money” and regulating phony “issue ads” – following decade-long battle by Public Citizen and allies.
      • Public Citizen successfully sues Bush administration to win release of Reagan administration records under Presidential Records Act.
      • Public Citizen wins Supreme Court case, Lee v. Kemna, in which court decided a defendant was denied his rights to a fair trial and due process when the trial court refused to grant an overnight continuance to locate three missing alibi witnesses.


      • Public Citizen wins passage of legislation to beef up inspections of Mexican trucks entering U.S. under NAFTA.
      • Public Citizen documents corporate abuse of NAFTA investor protection provisions and NAFTA’s negative impact on U.S. farmers.
      • Public Citizen report highlights 527 “questionable hospitals” that violated patient dumping law.
      • Public Citizen influences new aviation security law in wake of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
      • Public Citizen issues report linking political connections to regulatory actions taken by public officials to aid energy trader Enron Corp., which collapsed amid allegations of accounting fraud.
      • Public Citizen wins appellate court ruling, Dendrite International v. Does 1 through 14, protecting privacy rights of Internet users who anonymously post comments critical of corporations.
      • Consumer Product Safety Commission bans lead-wick candles after lengthy campaign by Public Citizen.


      • Public Citizen petition leads to ban on diabetes drug Rezulin after 63 deaths from liver toxicity.
      • Public Citizen publishes sixth edition of Questionable Doctors, listing 20,125 physicians nationwide who had been disciplined by state medical boards.
      • Public Citizen, spearheading a coalition of auto safety advocates, wins new federal legislation to strengthen safety in wake of hundreds of deaths and injuries caused by rollover crashes involving Firestone tires and Ford Explorers.
      • Public Citizen releases report documenting role of Big Tobacco in creating network of “lawsuit abuse” groups that advocate stripping legal rights from citizens.


      • Public Citizen publishes third edition of its best-selling Worst Pills, Best Pills, a consumer’s guide to avoiding drug-induced death or illness.
      • Public Citizen wins release of historic grand jury records relating to the 1948 indictment of alleged Soviet agent Alger Hiss.
      • Public Citizen releases report revealing strong links between Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott’s Republican Party “soft money” fund-raising from casino interests and his little‑known legislative actions that protected the casino industry.
      • Public Citizen publishes Whose Trade Organization? Corporate Globalization and the Erosion of Democracy, a book exposing the WTO’s five-year record of weakening health, safety, environmental and labor standards.
      • Public Citizen works successfully to pass major truck safety legislation, which creates the new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to replace ineffective Office of Motor Carriers.
      • Public Citizen leads global coalition to organize massive, landmark demonstrations in Seattle against the unaccountable, undemocratic World Trade Organization.
      • Public Citizen defends a California woman whose Web site is critical of a company, beginning the Litigation Group’s continuing involvement in Internet free speech cases.
      • Public Citizen’s Texas office successfully lobbies for a power plant cleanup program that will reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions by 50 to 88 percent.
      • Public Citizen helps to establish a nationwide blood alcohol limit for drivers of .08.
      • Public Citizen helps stop “NAFTA for Africa” trade legislation intended to benefit corporations at the expense of local businesses in the developing world.


      • Public Citizen again stops passage of undemocratic Fast Track trade legislation.
      • Public Citizen helps lead a global citizens' campaign that results in the scuttling of the Multilateral Agreement on Investments, a proposed global investment treaty.
      • Public Citizen wins passage of legislation mandating safer air bags to protect women and children.
      • Public Citizen releases latest compilation of 16,638 Questionable Doctors, the only publicly available, national compendium of disciplined doctors.
      • Public Citizen leads push against deregulation of electric utility industry, forming a grassroots coalition, Ratepayers for Affordable Green Energy.
      • Public Citizen coordinates successful lobbying effort to stop legislation creating a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.
      • Public Citizen helps expose a special-interest deal to benefit a company in Mississippi, the home state of Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, thereby killing a bill designed to limit the rights of consumers to hold corporations accountable in court for making dangerous products.
      • Agreeing with Public Citizen, the U.S. Supreme Court in Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor affirms a Third Circuit decision saying that class actions cannot be used to deprive future victims of their right to sue.
      • Public Citizen is a major player in the call for reform of the Independent Counsel Act to avoid future Ken Starr-type fiascos.

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