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Accomplishments

1985

  • Public Citizen begins publication of Health Letter to provide consumers with critical information about health issues.
  • Public Citizen successfully petitions the FDA to require a Reye's Syndrome warning on aspirin labels following a campaign that lasted several years.
  • Public Citizen wins a key amendment to banking legislation preventing out-of-state banks from siphoning money from local communities.
  • Public Citizen exposes the EPA’s failure to accurately assess danger of toxic waste dump sites in successful campaign to strengthen Superfund cleanup laws.
  • Public Citizen releases names and locations of more than 250 work sites across the nation where workers have been exposed to hazardous chemicals.
  • Public Citizen wins a Supreme Court decision expanding the rights of lawyers to advertise.
  • Public Citizen helps defeat industry-sponsored legislation to restrict the use of courts by victims of dangerous products to hold manufacturers accountable, and successfully opposes similar legislation in Congress over the next decade.
  • Public Citizen pressure on FDA leads to recall of large-model Bjork-Shiley heart valve, after risk of valve fractures is linked to 100 deaths worldwide.

1984

  • Public Citizen opens a field office in Austin, Texas, after successfully defeating an effort by Southwestern Bell to drastically raise phone prices.
  • Public Citizen pressure defeats special antitrust provisions for beer distributors and preserves a law prohibiting U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials to win business contracts.
  • Public Citizen publishes "Retreat from Safety: Regan's Attack on America's Health," exposing the Reagan administration's efforts to roll back health and safety regulations.
  • Public Citizen successfully opposes legislation easing restrictions on use of cancer-causing food additives.
  • Following AT&T’s divestiture, Public Citizen mounts nationwide “Campaign for Affordable Phones” to oppose rate hikes for residential customers.
  • FDA strengthens warning labels for anti-inflammatory drugs Butazolidin and Tandearil after Public Citizen cites serious adverse reactions.
  • Public Citizen leads a successful fight against approval of hazardous injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera.
  • Public Citizen successfully pushes for a law encouraging states to set a minimum age of 21 for serving alcohol or risk losing federal highway funds.

1983

  • Public Citizen wins historic separation-of-powers case; Supreme Court strikes down legislative veto, affecting more than 200 statutes.
  • "Over the Counter Pills That Don't Work" is published and becomes a national best-seller.
  • Based on a report by Ralph Nader on consumer cooperatives, Public Citizen founds Buyers Up to help consumers save money on heating oil.
  • Public Citizen persuades Congress to halt funding for Clinch River breeder reactor, after President Reagan revives program.
  • Public Citizen participates in landmark Supreme Court decision overturning President Reagan's revocation of auto safety standards for automatic restraints such as air bags.
  • After intense Public Citizen lobbying, Congress refuses to overrule FTC rule requiring funeral homes to itemize lists and preventing the requirement of casket and embalming costs in cremation.
  • Public Citizen issues report identifying more than $82 billion in direct corporate subsidies included in Reagan’s federal budget proposal.

1982

  • Public Citizen leads successful effort to block passage of regulatory rollback bill.
  • The arthritis drug Oraflex (benoxaprofen) is withdrawn from the market after Public Citizen exposes deaths and injuries caused by the drug.
  • Public Citizen persuades Congress not to exempt doctors, dentists and other professionals from Federal Trade Commission oversight.
  • After an extensive Public Citizen campaign, cancer-causing urea formaldehyde is banned in home insulation.
  • Public Citizen leads defense against congressional attacks on Freedom of Information Act.
  • Public Citizen’s lobbying efforts halt plans to extend drug manufacturers’ monopolies on their products by up to seven years.
  • A Public Citizen study of OSHA enforcement reveals a 50 percent drop in citations of serious violations under Reagan administration.

1981

  • Public Citizen helps thwart President Reagan’s attempts to dismantle the Clean Air Act and to diminish authority of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Public Citizen helps block Reagan administration efforts to eliminate the Legal Services program for low-income consumers and to cut funding for the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Public Citizen publishes "A Worker’s Guide to Winning at the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission," informing workers of their rights
  • Public Citizen publishes "Cataracts: A Consumers' Guide to Choosing the Best Treatment."
  • Public Citizen urges FDA to ban misleading advertising for the popular tranquilizer drug Valium, and the company withdraws the ads.
  • Public Citizen plays a major role in canceling dairy price supports, saving consumers an estimated 8 cents per gallon of milk.

1980

  • Public Citizen publishes "Pills That Don't Work," a consumer guide to ineffective drugs, which becomes a national best-seller after "The Phil Donahue Show" features the book.
  • Public Citizen plays critical role in passage of the Superfund law, that requires cleanup of toxic waste sites without limits on liability.
  • Public Citizen releases a progress report on the Three Mile Island reactor cleanup, "TMI: One Year in Retrospect." It documents safety mishaps at other nuclear power plants and lists accidents involving transportation of nuclear materials.
  • Public Citizen leads a successful push for legislation that eased pricing rules governing the trucking industry, enabling more competition and saving each American family up to $70 to $105 a year.
  • Public Citizen pressure leads to an FDA recall of Rely tampons, which are linked to toxic shock syndrome.

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