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Accomplishments

1991

  • Public Citizen plays key role in passage of new auto and truck safety law requiring air bags and head injury protections, and limiting the expansion of big rigs.
  • Public Citizen publishes Women’s Health Alert, a handbook of vital health information for women.
  • Public Citizen wins important separation-of-powers decision in Supreme Court involving congressional control of National Airport.
  • Public Citizen wins landmark ruling that FEC cannot restrict use of campaign finance data.
  • Public Citizen publishes They Love To Fly ... And It Shows, exposing House members who took nearly 4,000 privately funded trips in 1989-90.
  • Public Citizen’s Texas office helps reform Texas’ lemon law for new car buyers.
  • Teamsters union elects new leadership, capping nearly two decades of Public Citizen legal support for pro-reform movement.

1990

  • Public Citizen launches the Supreme Court Assistance Project to assist lawyers with public interest cases pending in the Supreme Court.
  • Public Citizen publishes first edition of Questionable Doctors, a nationwide listing of 6,892 doctors disciplined for incompetence, negligence, substance abuse and other violations.
  • Public Citizen court victory forces the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue mandatory training requirements for nuclear plant workers.
  • Public Citizen publishes Who Robbed America?, a guide to the savings and loan scandal that cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
  • Public Citizen initiates a “Doctor Bribing Hotline” for doctors to report unethical or illegal attempts by pharmaceutical companies to persuade them to prescribe one medicine over another. Doctors report offers of free dinners, airline tickets and cash.

1989

  • Federal regulation requiring air bags or passive seat belts in all cars takes full effect after a 20-year battle with auto makers.
  • Public Citizen and Ralph Nader lead successful opposition to $45,500 congressional pay raise, forcing Congress to take a smaller raise and ban honoraria.
  • Public Citizen wins appeals court ruling requiring FTC regulation of smokeless tobacco products.
  • Public Citizen helps persuade California voters to shut down Rancho Seco nuclear plant.
  • Public Citizen obtains court order forcing the FDA to require labels warning women that high-absorbency tampons are more likely to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome.
  • Public Citizen releases report detailing cesarean section rates in 30 states.
  • Public Citizen sues Bush administration for release of Oliver North’s diaries from the Iran-Contra affair.
  • Public Citizen successfully campaigns to have offensive RJ Reynolds cigarette ads withdrawn.

1988

  • After seven years of litigation by Public Citizen, OSHA imposes standards for worker exposure to cancer-causing gas ethylene oxide, used to sterilize hospital equipment.
  • Public Citizen publishes first edition of Worst Pills, Best Pills, a consumer guide to dangerous and ineffective drugs and their safer alternatives, selling 2 million copies over the next 10 years.
  • Public Citizen actively supports Proposition 103, an automobile insurance rate reduction initiative approved by California voters.
  • Public Citizen leads successful effort in Congress to strengthen pesticide law.
  • Public Citizen publishes Citizen’s Guide to Radon Home Test Kits.
  • Public Citizen calls on FDA to order a halt to use of silicone gel in breast implants.
  • Public Citizen releases report exposing NRC refusal to comply with law governing nuclear worker training and revealing that more than two-thirds of 3,000 mishaps at U.S. reactors in 1987 involved worker error.
  • Public Citizen wins two cases in the Supreme Court, including one protecting workers fired for filing worker compensation claims from losing their right to file suit under union-management arbitration provisions.

1987

  • Public Citizen publishes research about Judge Robert Bork, helping block his confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Public Citizen obtains court order directing chemical producers of Agent Orange to make important information available to public.
  • Public Citizen helps persuade Congress to pass legislation restricting the time banks can hold checks.
  • Public Citizen publishes first edition of Unnecessary Cesarean Sections, an in-depth investigation into the skyrocketing rate of cesarean births.
  • Public Citizen publishes its Nuclear Power Safety Report, documenting approximately 3,000 mishaps that occurred at U.S. nuclear plants in 1986, including 75 emergency plant shutdowns and record number of fines and serious accidents.

1986

  • After lengthy Public Citizen campaign, FDA requires aspirin makers to include labels warning that aspirin can cause rare Reye’s Syndrome in children suffering from chicken pox or flu.
  • Supreme Court rules in favor of Public Citizen lawsuit, declaring that Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit reduction law violates Constitution’s separation-of-powers doctrine.
  • Congress requires health warning labels on chewing tobacco and snuff, capping Public Citizen’s two-year campaign.
  • Public Citizen and Democracy Project publish Freedom From Harm, a book documenting importance of public health and safety protections in face of industry campaign to denigrate regulation.
  • Public Citizen wins court order forbidding president from stopping expenditure of appropriated funds without express authorization from Congress.
  • Public Citizen helps defeat industry-sponsored legislation to restrict use of courts by victims of defective products and successfully opposes similar legislation in Congress over the next decade.
  • Public Citizen publishes Care of the Seriously Mentally Ill: A Rating of State Programs, ranking states from highest to lowest in their provisions for mentally ill patients.
  • Public Citizen’s Texas Office helps whistleblowers at the South Texas and Comanche Peak nuclear plants halt construction while extensive safety revisions are made.

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