Page 1 - May-June 2012

Basic HTML Version

By Bridgette Blair
Senators, representatives and their staffs now
must abide by the same insider trading rules as
everyone else.
In March, Congress passed the Stop Trading on
Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which bans
insider trading by members of Congress and their
Public Citizen has been working to push
this legislation through Congress since 2006.
Pain at the Pump: For Americans to get long-term
relief, we need to break our dependence on oil,
pages 8-9
Win! Wyoming hospital informs surgical patients
about infection risk,
page 11
Printed on 100% recycled paper (45% post-consumer material)
, page 6
, page 4
, page 16
Vol. 32, No. 3 • May/June 2012
Non-Profit Org.
Frederick, MD
Permit No. 435
1600 20th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
May/June 2012
Public Citizen
Generates Local
Support to Undo
Citizens United
Hospitals Should Stop Giving Infant Formula Freebies
By Dorry Samuels
When new mothers are dis-
charged from the hospital, many
leave with their tiny bundles of
joy in one arm and swag from the
hospital in the other.
These goodies include dia-
pers, baby-friendly laundry de-
tergent and samples of formula
provided by the manufacturers
— all packaged in brand-stamped
bags from formula makers.
Even mothers who have indicat-
ed that they intend to breastfeed
receive these goodies — includ-
ing the formula.
Here’s the problem: By hand-
ing out these formula freebies,
hospitals are acting as de facto
mouthpieces for the manufac-
turers, and that has a negative
effect on women. Studies have
proven that women who receive
formula samples are less likely to
breastfeed exclusively or for as
long. Women who do not breast-
feed instead spend thousands of
dollars on formula once the sam-
ples are gone, and expose them-
selves and their babies to health
problems that breastfeeding can
help prevent.
As part of a campaign launched
in April, Public Citizen sent let-
ters co-signed by more than 100
organizations to 2,600 hospitals
nationwide, urging them to stop
samples of infant formula in new
mothers’ discharge bags because
the distribution is unethical and
violates good public health pol-
icy. Additionally, the organiza-
tion launched an online petition
calling on the three major for-
mula makers — Abbott (maker of
STOCK Act Becomes Law
White House Photo/Chuck Kennedy
Public Citizen President Robert Weissman (third from left) attends the White House’s signing ceremony for the
STOCK Act, held on April 4 in Washington, D.C.
Since 2006, Public Citizen Pushed for Congressional Insider Trading Ban
By Dorry Samuels
Public Citizen knew from
the start that the U.S. Supreme
Court’s decision in
Citizens Unit-
ed v. Federal Election Commis-
— which allows corporations
to spend unlimited amounts
from their treasuries to influence
elections — would set the stage
for corporations to undermine
our democracy in a major way.
That’s why on the very day that
the court issued its ruling — Jan.
21, 2010 — Public Citizen called
for a constitutional amendment
to overturn that decision.
People thought Public Citizen
was aiming for an idealistic, un-
attainable goal, even though an
amendment really is the only
way to completely undo the
harm caused by
Citizens United.
Public Citizen was undeterred.
More than two years after the
decision, support for a consti-
tutional amendment is gaining