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 field office in Austin, Texas.
  • Public Citizen pressure defeats special antitrust provisions for beer distributors and preserves law prohibiting American companies from paying bribes to foreign officials to win business contracts.
  • Public Citizen publishes Retreat from Safety, a book exposing Reagan administration 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.
  • Public Citizen wins court order forcing EPA to recall 700,000 GM cars with faulty emission controls.
  • FDA strengthens warning labels for anti-inflammatory drugs Butazolidin and Tandearil after Public Citizen cites serious adverse reactions.
  • Public Citizen leads successful fight against approval of hazardous injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera.

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.
  • Public Citizen and Ralph Nader found Buyers Up cooperative 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.
  • Public Citizen calls for Toxic Shock Syndrome warning labels on tampons (See 1989).

1981

  • Public Citizen helps thwart President Reagan’s attempts to dismantle Clean Air Act and to diminish authority of Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Public Citizen helps block Reagan administration efforts to eliminate a low-income legal aid program and cut funding for the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Public Citizen publishes A Worker’s Guide to Winning at the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and helps counter anti-regulatory efforts.
  • Public Citizen urges FDA to ban misleading advertising for popular drug Valium; company withdraws advertising.
  • Public Citizen plays a major role in canceling dairy price supports, saving consumers an estimated 8 cents per gallon of milk.
  • Public Citizen wins landmark Supreme Court ruling involving arbitration; Court says unions cannot contract away trucker drivers’ right to be compensated by employers for federally required safety inspections of big rigs.
  • Public Citizen lawsuit results in recovery of $1.5 million embezzled from a Teamsters union local in Baltimore.

1980

  • Public Citizen publishes best-selling Pills That Don't Work, a consumer guide to ineffective drugs.
  • Public Citizen plays critical role in passage of Superfund law, which requires cleanup of toxic waste sites without limits on liability.
  • Public Citizen releases progress report on Three Mile Island reactor cleanup; documents safety mishaps at other nuclear power plants and accidents involving transportation of nuclear materials.
  • Public Citizen lawsuit forces government to keep records of closed-door proceedings of Chrysler bailout.
  • Public Citizen magazine debuts, giving members regular updates on Public Citizen issues and activities.
  • Public Citizen pressure leads to FDA recall of Rely tampons, linked to toxic shock syndrome.