National Consumers League applauds Senate confirmation of Alex Hoehn-Saric as CPSC Chair

October 8, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds action by the U.S. Senate on Thursday confirming Alexander Hoehn-Saric as Chair and Commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Hoehn-Saric brings extensive experience to the role, serving most recently as Chief Counsel for the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has served on Senate committees as well as on the staff of former Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) when she served on the Commerce Committee. Hoehn-Saric’s experience with and support of consumer product safety protections is longstanding.

“We congratulate Mr. Hoehn-Saric on his recent confirmation as Chair of the CPSC and look forward to working with him. Product safety is of critical importance to American families and essential to the safety of children of all ages. CPSC’s charge is to ensure that consumer products meet basic safety standards and are well designed. CPSC must also act to protect consumers from the hazards posed by unsafe products,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “We think Hoehn-Saric will fulfill this leadership role well.”

NCL also appreciates the longstanding dedication of Acting Chairman Robert Adler, who has served in the role of chair since 2017 and spent many years before that as commissioner.

“The CPSC conducted critically important recalls during his tenure and issued important research about product safety before and during the COVID 19 pandemic, with Adler at the helm,” said Greenberg.

Going forward, we urge the U.S. Senate to move swiftly to confirm two additional Biden Administration-nominated CPSC commissioners, Mary Boyle and Richard Trumka Jr. “A full complement of commissioners at the CPSC will enable the agency to address the many product safety issues on its agenda and resolve differences in consumers’ favor when it comes to stronger product safety enforcement,” said Greenberg.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

NCL supports the Helping Adults Protect Immunity (HAPI) Act

September 30, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) is pleased to support the Helping Adults Protect Immunity (HAPI) Act (H.R. 8725/S.581), introduced by Representative Darren Soto (D-FL) in the House and by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) in the Senate. The bill would expand access to immunizations for adults by eliminating cost-sharing for vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

“Throughout its rich history, NCL has advocated for increased access to vaccines as life-saving medical interventions. The HAPI Act is common sense legislation that would help to eliminate out-of-pocket costs for all vaccines recommended by the ACIP,” said NCL Director of Health Policy Jeanette Contreras. This legislation would apply to crucial immunizations such as Shingles and tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines, along with future vaccines.

NCL is grateful for the important role of the ACIP to make recommendations using evidence-based research methods, examining the harm-benefit ratio, and understanding the values of the affected populations. Currently, all ACIP and CDC recommended vaccines are covered with no out-of-pocket costs under private insurance, Medicare Part B, and ACA Medicaid Expansion. Unfortunately, traditional Medicaid beneficiaries must often pay varying out-of-pocket costs for recommended vaccines depending on the state.

More than 50,000 adults in the United States die annually from vaccine preventable deaths. The HAPI Act would help to lower that number significantly by providing more vaccine access to Medicaid beneficiaries, our most vulnerable low-income populations. “No one should be unable to obtain a vaccine due to cost barriers. We can ensure that all Americans are protected against preventable diseases regardless of their state of residence or their ability to pay,” said Contreras.

NCL urges Congress to pass the HAPI Act to ensure Medicaid beneficiaries across the country have  equitable access to recommended vaccines across lifespan.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

NCL applauds Senate confirmation of Rohit Chopra as CFPB Director

September 30, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, today applauded the U.S. Senate for its confirmation of Rohit Chopra to serve as the next Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  

A true champion for consumer protection, Chopra has worked to promote the public interest throughout his career — as he supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in her efforts to establish the CFPB and, later, as he fought against predatory and fraudulent business practices as a Commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission.  

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, NCL’s Executive Director: 

“Rohit Chopra is a consumer champion in every sense of the word. His confirmation as Director of the CFPB could not come at a more important time for America. He helped stand up the Bureau in the depth of the Great Recession, when banks’ predatory practices had brought our economy to its knees. He now takes over as CFPB Director at a time when far too many consumers are being forced by the global pandemic to make painful economic choices.  

“His extensive experience and passion for protecting consumers is today especially needed. Via our Fraud.org website, NCL hears daily from victims of the types of scams that the CFPB works to prevent. 

“NCL looks forward to working with Director Chopra to reinvigorate the CFPB and ensure that it fulfills its mission to protect the most vulnerable American consumers.” 

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

NCL stands behind CDC COVID-19 booster recommendations

September 29, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds the coordinated efforts of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to approve the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster. As the Delta variant continues to cause more breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals, it is clear that we need to ensure the protection of our most vulnerable populations.

On September 24, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky went beyond the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) and made the call to recommend the single-dose booster to frontline workers in addition to those groups recommended by ACIP. Walensky’s recommendations are in line with those of the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biologic Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which voted to approve the EUA of the booster shot for individuals older than 65 years of age, individuals at high risk for severe disease, and those with institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19.

“NCL has long advocated for increased access to the vaccine for frontline, essential workers and equitable distribution of the vaccine to populations hardest hit by the pandemic,” said Jeanette Contreras, NCL Director of Health Policy. “The single-dose booster shot is a necessary measure to ensure the safety of those most at risk, and to further mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” The essential workers who received their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines early in the pandemic are next in line for the booster shot, recommended at least six months after completion of the primary two-dose series.

“Consumers who were vaccinated with the Moderna or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine are on the edge of their seats,” said Contreras. “In some cases, consumers may want to get a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot even if they’ve had one of the other vaccines. We want consumers to know that there is still not enough data for the FDA to approve mixing the vaccines.” The Administration has signaled that while recommendations for ‘mixing and matching’ vaccines will come later in October, they are working closely with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to get their booster shots approved in the coming days.

Consumers who completed the primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, branded as Comirnaty, now have ready access to the booster shot. Consumers must demonstrate they had their second dose of the vaccine at least 6 months ago and attest to being in the approved high-risk population groups. NCL stands behind the recommendations of the CDC and will continue to ensure that consumers have access to life-saving vaccines.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

National Consumers League applauds decision to ban vaccine misinformation from YouTube

September 29, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, today applauded YouTube and its parent company Alphabet for their decision to ban anti-vaccine misinformation from the platform. NCL has been a leading voice in promoting vaccine confidence and pushing online platforms to do more to counter misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines, which has contributed to far too many preventable deaths.

The accounts being removed are known anti-vaccine organizations. Robert F. Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense Fund, one of the most high-profile anti-vaccine organizations in America, was responsible for more than half of the paid advertisements on Facebook in years past. Joseph Mercola, founder of Mercola.com Health Resources, authored an article falsely stating that COVID-19 vaccines released via emergency authorization may cause massive side effects. Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center, spearheaded by physician, Sherri Tenpenny, promotes alternative health in lieu of vaccines and authored the book, “Say No to Vaccines: A Resource Guide for All Ages.”

The following statement is attributable to NCL Director of Health Policy: Jeanette Contreras:

“Vaccine hesitancy driven by rampant misinformation online is costing lives every day and prolonging a pandemic that has devastated consumers financially as well as physically. YouTube’s decision to ban anti-vaccine misinformation, while overdue, is nonetheless an important step forward in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

National Consumers League applauds Biden Administration’s new heat stress initiative

September 24, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Reid Maki, reidm@nclnet.org(202) 207-2820

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, celebrates the White House announcement on September 20 of a new multi-agency effort to protect American workers from heat-related illnesses. The initiative includes the launch of a process to create a federal heat standard to protect workers.

The administration’s actions will add protections for outdoor workers in agriculture and construction, as well as for delivery workers, and will cover indoor workers in warehouses, factories, and kitchens.

NCL and the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), which it co-chairs with the American Federation of Teachers, have long supported efforts to develop a federal heat standard. NCL and the CLC have been active in a large coalition of groups led by Public Citizen, Farmworker Justice, and the United Farm Workers Foundation, that has been calling for greater protections from heat-related occupations.

The following statement may be attributed to NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg:

“Heat stress endangers millions of workers, and a federal heat standard is long overdue. We’re grateful that the Biden Administration has responded robustly with this comprehensive, multi-agency initiative. Heat stress affects low-wage workers and people of color disproportionately. The COVID pandemic has reminded us how essential millions of American workers are, and this summer’s searing temperatures demonstrate the need for increased protections. When this effort is completed, countless American workers will be safer than they are today.”

The following statement may be attributed to NCL Director of Child Labor Advocacy, and CLC Coordinator Reid Maki:

“NCL and the CLC have tried for decades to protect child farmworkers, whose back-breaking work in the fields puts them and their families at higher risk of heat-related illnesses. Children are more vulnerable to heat illness than adults; they have a greater surface area to body mass ratio, they sweat less, and their rate of acclimatization is slower.

Weak U.S. child labor laws for the agricultural sector allow an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 children to work unlimited hours on farms, often beginning at the age of 12—as long as the child farmworker is not missing school attendance. In some instances, exemptions allow even younger children to perform farm work. The CLC has been working to close those loopholes and protect the health and safety of child farmworkers for over two decades.

The Biden Administration’s heat stress initiative will address the factors that create social vulnerabilities and disproportionate impacts. The initiative will also provide cooling assistance to households, allow the use of schools as cooling centers, add tree cover to reduce urban heat, and launch related measures such a “heat resilience challenge.”

“NCL thanks the U.S. Department of Labor and other involved agencies for this bold action and applauds the many advocacy groups, farmworker organizations, unions, and other colleagues in the Heat Stress Network, who have fought to bring about these protections,” said Greenberg.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

NCL lends support to Bolstering Innovative Options to Save Immediately on Medicines (BIOSIM) Act, H.R. 2815

September 24, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) is pleased to support the Bolstering Innovative Options to Save Immediately on Medicines (BIOSIM) Act (H.R. 2815), introduced by Representatives Adam Kizinger (R-IL) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). NCL believes that expanding the use of biosimilars is a safe and effective option for making prescription drugs more affordable for all.

In the midst of a pandemic, consumers across the country are unable to receive necessary care for many reasons — the most prominent being high costs. Biologics are among the fastest-growing segments of the prescription product market, and costly to the patients who rely on them. What is unique about biologic treatments is that they are directly able to combat the underlying cause of a disease. NCL is committed to educating consumers about the value of biosimilars as alternatives to biologics.

Consumers are largely unaware that similar to generic prescription drugs, biosimilars are the generic equivalent to their biologic counterpart. As with generic prescription drugs, FDA-approved biosimilars have no clinically meaningful differences from their reference biologics. Biosimilars function in the same way as biologics and are subject to the same rigorous testing by the FDA to ensure their safety. The FDA has approved biosimilar medications to treat conditions such as cancer, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and more. Biosimilars can enter the market once the patent protections for brand-name biologics expire, and when multiple options exist on the market, competition drives prices down.

NCL believes that biosimilar treatment options are a great way to ensure that cost is not a factor that inhibits access to care. Currently, Medicare beneficiaries pay 20 percent coinsurance on Part B drugs, which includes both biologics and biosimilars. On average, biosimilars cut the price of biologics by about 30 percent, which provides beneficiaries with significantly lower prices than the biologic alternative. While biologics make up a small percentage of the total number of drugs on the market, and just 2 percent of prescriptions filled, they represent 40 percent of all drug spending.

Currently, Medicare reimburses participating physicians based on the average sales price (ASP) of a drug with an additional 6 percent of the reference price. However, because biosimilars are cheaper than biologics, physicians more often prescribe the higher-priced treatment. NCL supports increasing the reimbursement percentage for biosimilars as a way to incentivize physicians to prescribe biosimilars. The BIOSIM Act would maintain the 6 percent reimbursement for prescribing a biologic and increase the return for prescribing biosimilars to 8 percent for a five-year period.

The BIOSIM Act provides the needed incentives to boost utilization by providers to prescribe biosimilars and makes it cheaper for beneficiaries to receive the care they require. “If enacted, this policy would not only provide significant savings to consumers, it would also drive down Medicare spending overall,” said NCL Director of Health Policy Jeanette Contreras. “Congress should act on passing the BIOSIM Act in order to increase access to safe and effective biosimilars that provide consumers an affordable alternative to high-cost biologics.”

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

NCL celebrates Labor Day 2021

September 6, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League was in the forefront of improving conditions for workers at the turn of the 20th Century. In the 1880s in the United States, many American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories, bakeries and mines across the country, earning a fraction of adult wages. NCL’s Florence Kelley wrote some of the key labor protections we take for granted now – the first minimum wage laws, maximum hours laws, and child labor protection laws.

For example, NCL was instrumental in the Supreme Court case of Muller vs Oregon in 1908, which set the first maximum hours laws for workers in the United States, applying only to women at the time but expanding later to include men.

Labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, also grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay.

In the wake of this massive unrest and the maiming and murder of striking workers in many trades, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. We celebrate Labor Day each year to remember the working men and women – and children – who struggled to achieve labor rights and protections and continue to do so today.

Public approval of unions is at 68 percent, including 77 percent of young people. It is with that backdrop that NCL once again calls on Congress to enact three critically important bills:

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA), and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act; these laws will strengthen labor laws and give workers greater opportunities to organize and form unions, protecting the most vulnerable in our labor force

“Decades of industry lobbying have made it increasingly difficult for workers to organize,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “Employers enjoy unprecedented and unfair advantages during union organizing drives, which has led to far fewer opportunities for workers to make their voices heard in the workplace. NCL supports these bills to protect the right to organize and democracy in the workplace for America’s workers.”

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

Ten consumer advocacy organizations call for action on aviation consumer protection priorities in letter to DOT

August 27, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

The Honorable Pete Buttigieg
Secretary
United States Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey, SE
Washington, DC 20590

RE: Promoting DOT’s Aviation Consumer Protection Mission and Passenger Priorities

Dear Secretary Buttigieg:

The undersigned consumer advocacy organizations appreciated the opportunity to meet with you on July 27. We welcomed your close attention to our recommendations for actions the Department of Transportation (“DOT” or “Department”) should take to promote and enhance consumer protection in the air travel marketplace. We are encouraged that under your leadership, consumer protection will not be an afterthought at the DOT.[1]

In that regard, we write today regarding the key priorities we identified during our meeting and to request meetings with appropriate officials as you move forward on implementation.

First, as we discussed, we hope you will be publicly and personally highlighting consumer protection as a key part of DOT’s mission. DOT is the sole consumer protection agency, at any level of government, with authority over the air travel industry. Your public statements about your expectations for consumer protection in the air travel marketplace will put the airlines on notice that the DOT under your leadership will vigorously enforce existing consumer protections and seek new ways to better protect travelers as the industry emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, and going forward.

Second, on the specific priorities we raised with you, all of which you were receptive to addressing, we ask that you help arrange for us to meet with the appropriate officials at DOT and FAA with authority to address these priorities. Those priorities include:

  • Taking immediate action to address the airlines’ practice of issuing expiring travel vouchers for flights not taken on account of the pandemic. The four major U.S. airlines had $10 billion in unused travel credits on their books at the end of 2020. Many billions of dollars in credits will expire this year, due in no small part to inconsistent airline rules regarding when such credits must be used.[2] As was the case last year, travelers continue to be caught in an untenable situation: either endanger their health by flying despite the risks to themselves and others from the resurgent COVID-19 virus, or lose their substantial ticket investments. We request that you publicly call on the airlines to grant refunds, or at the consumer’s option, provide indefinite extensions and transferability of vouchers, for travel that was scheduled to have occurred since the pandemic began. We also urge you to investigate whether the airlines’ failure to do so would constitute an unfair or deceptive practice under DOT’s §41712 authority. We appreciate that DOT has recognized the importance of addressing the more than 100,000 complaints it received in 2020 related to ticket refunds stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the ongoing enforcement action against Air Canada[3] and the planned NPRM on airline ticket refunds[4] do not adequately address the magnitude of this unprecedented situation. To date, no domestic airline has been fined by DOT for any anti-consumer transgressions identified during the pandemic. Conversely, DOT has not hesitated to fine passengers when justified, with fines totaling more than $1 million in 2021 alone.[5]
  • Fulfilling Congress’s directive that DOT address airlines’ family seating practices. Under the airlines’ current family seating practices, families traveling with small children must either forgo purchasing the most affordable classes of tickets or risk being seated far from their children during their flight. Recognizing this situation as indefensible, Congress directed the DOT to review and “if appropriate, establish a policy” directing air carriers to ensure that young children can be seated with their families at no additional cost.[6] But to date, DOT has limited its response to publishing a web page to educate the public about family seating and the availability of the DOT’s complaint process.[7] Separating young children from their families during flights not only creates needless anxiety; it also poses a safety risk during in-flight emergencies, and even puts children at increased risk of sexual assault.[8] We urge DOT to act on Congress’s directive and initiate a rulemaking to mandate that families with small children be seated together at no additional cost. In our view, the airlines’ family seating practices also constitute an unfair or deceptive practice under DOT’s §41712 authority,
  • Acting on Congress’s mandate that FAA establish minimum seat size standards. There currently exists no federally-mandated minimum seat size standard for U.S. airlines. Combined with badly out-of-date Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) emergency evacuation testing standards, the lack of a minimum seat size standard puts passengers at significant risk. Congress,[9] consumer groups,[10] an FAA advisory committee,[11] and the DOT’s Inspector General[12] have all called attention to this risk. The FAA’s continued resistance to establishing a minimum seat size standard led Congress to direct the FAA to do so no later than October 2019. It is now nearly two years since that deadline passed. The DOT should implement this Congressionally-mandated action without further delay.

As leisure travelers continue to power the airline industry’s taxpayer-supported recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the time for action by the DOT to address anti-consumer industry practices is now. The DOT cannot stand by while travelers endure unprecedented delays and cancellations, struggle to obtain refunds, are prevented from sitting with our children, and are squeezed into ever-shrinking and increasingly unsafe seats. The importance of prioritizing accountability for consumer protection has been highlighted anew in recent months, as the domestic airline industry has experienced a series of operational meltdowns, leading to thousands of delayed, canceled, and rescheduled flights, disrupting the travel plans of millions of American consumers.

Thank you again for the commitment you have given us to ensuring protection and fair treatment for the flying public.

Sincerely,

Business Travel Coalition
Consumer Action
Consumer Federation of America
Consumer Reports
EdOnTravel.com
FlyersRights.org
National Consumers League
Travelers United
Travel Fairness Now
U.S. PIRG

cc:

The Honorable Maria Cantwell, Chair, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & TransportationThe Honorable Roger Wicker, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation
The Honorable Kyrsten Sinema, Chairman, Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation
The Honorable Ted Cruz, Ranking Members, Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation
The Honorable Peter DeFazio, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure
The Honorable Sam Graves, Ranking Member, House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure
The Honorable Rick Larsen, Chairman, House Subcommittee on Aviation
The Honorable Garret Graves, Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on Aviation
Blane Workie, Assistant General Counsel for the Office of Aviation Consumer Protection, DOT
John Putnam, Acting General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel, DOT

 

[1] Josephs, Leslie. (2021, July 28) Legroom, vouchers, seating fees: Consumer advocacy groups take complaints to DOT. CNBC.com. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/28/legroom-vouchers-seating-fees-consumer-travel-groups-take-complaints-to-dot-.html

[2] McCartney, Scott. (2021, March 17) The Airline and Hotel Pandemic Vouchers That May Prove Worthless. Wall Street Journal. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-airline-and-hotel-pandemic-vouchers-that-may-prove-worthless-11615986078?mod=article_inline

[3] U.S. Department of Transportation. (2021, June 15) U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation Consumer Protection Initiates Enforcement Proceeding Seeking Approximately $25 million Against Air Canada for Extreme Delays in Providing Required Refunds [Press release]. https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-department-transportations-office-aviation-consumer-protection-initiates

[4] https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=202104&RIN=2105-AF04

[5] Federal Aviation Administration. (2021, August 19) FAA Fines Against Unruly Passengers Reach $1M [Press release]. https://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=26440

[6] FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016. §2309. https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ190/PLAW-114publ190.pdf

[7] U.S. Department of Transportation. (2020, March 4) Family Seating. https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/family-seating

[8] Rosato, Donna. (2020, March 4) Airlines Fall Short in Fixing Family Seating Problems. Consumer Reports. https://www.consumerreports.org/air-travel/airline-fixes-to-family-seating-problems-fall-short/

[9] Silk, Robert. (2020 August 17) Travel Weekly. https://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News/Airline-News/Congress-FAA-to-set-standards-for-seat-size-delay

[10] FlyersRights.org. (2021 August 17) The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat. https://flyersrights.org/f/the-case-of-the-incredible-shrinking-airline-seat

[11] Federal Aviation Administration. “Emergency Evacuation Standards Aviation Rulemaking Committee. https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/committees/documents/index.cfm/committee/browse/committeeID/757

[12] U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General. (2020 September 16) FAA’s Process for Updating Its Aircraft Evacuation Standards Lacks Data Collection and Analysis on Current Evacuation Risks. https://www.oig.dot.gov/sites/default/files/FAA%20Oversight%20of%20Aircraft%20Evacuations%20Final%20Report%20-%2009-16-20.pdf

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

NCL applauds full approval of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

August 24, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for granting the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine full licensure approval. The FDA’s gold standard approval is a testament to the remarkable safety and efficacy of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Though the vaccine will now be marketed under the name Comirnaty, it will remain free to U.S. residents.

Today’s announcement is a historic victory for science, and a signal that the Moderna vaccine will also receive full licensure approval in the coming weeks. NCL has long-advocated for access to vaccines as life-saving interventions. It is our hope that this news will instill more vaccine confidence in the nation and persuade the vaccine hesitant to get vaccinated.

While the vaccine has been approved for people 16 years of age and older, it remains available under Emergency Use Authorization for children ages 12 to 15. Parents of adolescents can share a collective sigh of relief as they send their kids to school this fall. Already, 45 percent of children ages 12-15 have had at least one dose of the vaccine, but only 32 percent are fully vaccinated. Full approval may help to ease concerns that hesitant parents have about the safety of the vaccine.

The approval of the vaccine will allow more employers to implement vaccine mandates in states where the state legislature has banned these measures. Advocating for workers as well as consumers, NCL supports vaccine mandates that provide paid sick leave, financial incentives, and exemptions for verifiable religious or medical reasons.

Over 200 million Americans have received at least one-dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but we are far from reaching herd immunity.  Only 51.5 percent of the total population is fully vaccinated. The Delta variant now accounts for over 137,000 new cases on average each week and is spreading faster than earlier strains of COVID-19. The only way to end this pandemic and prevent the emergence of further variants is to increase vaccinations. NCL remains committed to increasing vaccine confidence and uptake. We are hopeful today marks a turning point in our fight to end this pandemic.

About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.