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CR helped spotlight a recent study by Consumers International and the Mozilla Foundation finding that Tinder charged older users more to use certain dating app features. Tinder says it is stopping the practice. But many companies use similarly discriminatory algorithms based on factors like where customers live and education levels. Seven in 10 Americans oppose personalized pricing, according to a nationally representative CR survey of 2,341 adults in 2021. Sign our petition urging Congress to require companies using pricing algorithms to make that information public.
Ridding Wrappers of PFAS
A recent CR investigation is already making consumers safer. As reported in our May 2022 issue, new CR tests found that food packaging used by many restaurant and grocery chains contains dangerous per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, which have been tied to a long list of health problems, including immune system disorders, low birth weights, and an increased risk of some cancers. PFAS are known to migrate from wrappers into the food we eat.
Within days of publication, several of the companies highlighted—Chick-fil-A, Nathan’s Famous, and Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Horton’s—publicly committed to reducing PFAS.
Now CR will make sure those brands follow through on their pledges—and work with companies and regulators to eliminate more sources of these dangerous chemicals. You can help by signing two petitions, one telling Arby’s to rid its wrappers of PFAS, the other urging Congress to ban PFAS in all food packaging.
Making Cars More Efficient
What’s at stake: In 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency granted California a “waiver” to enact auto emissions standards and a zero-emissions vehicle mandate that were more stringent than federal rules.
Sixteen other states subsequently piggybacked on the waiver and adopted the California standards. These rules not only will result in cleaner air and reduce global warming pollution but also will help drivers save money and ensure that consumers in these states have access to the clean cars they want.
By March 2022, the rules would have applied to more than a third of the U.S. population and almost 40 percent of the U.S. car market. But in 2019 the EPA revoked the waiver.
How CR has your back: CR spent the next two years fighting to restore it. Our mobilization team recruited four CR members to testify in favor of the waiver at a June EPA hearing. And in July 2021, we submitted formal comments to the EPA, along with 48,599 consumer signatures in support of giving states the authority to set their own clean car standards.
This past March, the EPA reinstated the waiver. “It’s critically important that states have this authority, both for times when the federal government fails to act and when it rolls back standards,” says Quinta Warren, PhD, CR’s associate director of sustainability policy.
What you can do: Sign our petition, urging 15 state attorneys general to end their lawsuit challenging the federal Clean Car rule. You can also learn more about the financial enticements to purchasing cleaner vehicles at “How to Find All the Available Electric Car Incentives.”
Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the June 2022 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.