National consumer organization throwing support behind three major labor rights bills in Congress

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL), America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, founded in 1899 to advance the needs of consumers and workers, is backing three important federal bills aiming to even the playing field between workers and employers. The three pieces of legislation—the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA), and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act—would 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 is pleased to support several legislative initiatives that would help right the course for America’s workers.”

According to a recent Gallup Poll, roughly two-thirds of Americans approve of unions—a number trending upwards up from about half in 2009.

“Consumers are recognizing that they are harmed when workers do not have a strong voice,” said Greenberg. “Industry abuses are more likely to go unchecked, resulting in unsafe and dangerous products making it to the marketplace. And when workers are fairly compensated on the job, they can afford to buy the products they create, stimulating further demand that benefits the economy.”

About the bills

The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) would enhance collective bargaining rights, impose penalties on employers if they retaliate against workers who are trying to organize, and update labor laws to protect workers. The bill passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support this spring on a 225-206 vote. The bill currently awaits action in the Senate. Of 50 Democratic and independent Senators, 45 are currently committed to supporting the bill. If the Senate passes the bill, President Biden has pledged to sign it.

NCL strongly supports the PRO ACT and urges the Senate to swiftly pass this important measure.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act (FWMA) passed the House October 30, 2019, and was the product of bipartisan negotiations between leading Democrats and Republicans to modernize laws and treat with dignity and fairness our 2.4 million farmworkers, half of whom are undocumented immigrants. On March 18, 2021, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, H.R. 1603, passed the House again by a bipartisan vote of 247-174, with 30 Republicans joining Democrats in support. H.R. 1603, like the earlier version of the legislation.

“America’s farms and food systems depend on immigrants who pick our crops. But because so many don’t have legal status, they live in fear of deportation and cannot challenge illegal or unfair treatment in their jobs or in their communities,” said Greenberg. “FWMA provides a path to lawful permanent residency for these workers. Under the bill’s provisions, farmworkers would be able to improve their wages and working conditions and seek enforcement when their rights are violated. It also makes America more food-secure by ensuring that farmers have workers to harvest their perishable crops.”

The FMWA is a pro-consumer, pro-worker, and pro-agriculture bill that NCL strongly supports. NCL urges the Senate to pass this legislation and send it to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

The Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act (PSFNA, HR 3463 and S 1970), would set a minimum nationwide standard of collective bargaining rights that all states would have to provide to state and local workers.

There are nearly 17.3 million public sector workers across the country. Unlike private-sector workers, there is no federal law protecting the freedom of public sector workers to join a union and collectively bargain for fair wages, benefits, and improved working conditions.

Currently, 20 states do not provide all state and local public sector workers the ability to collectively bargain for fair wages and benefits.

Among the bill’s provisions is a requirement that public sector employers recognize labor unions chosen by a majority of the employees voting, and that they bargain with the labor organization over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment. If states fail to meet these standards, the bill gives the federal government the authority to intervene on behalf of public-service workers, ensuring their rights to form a union and negotiate with their employer.

NCL strongly supports the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act and urges swift Congressional action in both the House and the Senate so that President Biden can sign the bill into law.

“America would be unrecognizable without the gains made by working families and unions,” said Greenberg. “The movement needs an even playing field to do its job. These three bills are a good start, and NCL is proud to support each of them.”

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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.

Consumer group urges FDA and CDC to remain vigilant in enforcing hand sanitizer standards

April 27, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—This week, the National Consumers League (NCL) wrote a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), urging them to remain vigilant on the enforcement of proper manufacturing and distribution of hand sanitizers as we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the initial surge in demand for hand sanitizers, the federal government relaxed certain regulations in order to get over-the-counter products into consumers’ hands. The combination of a need for an immediate ramp-up of hand sanitizer distribution and reduced oversight led to a concerning trend of what NCL believes is a case of mislabeling — and unfortunately misleading — information regarding hand hygiene products.

While local and small businesses stepping up to produce products for their communities is admirable, hastily manufactured hand sanitizer operations have resulted in lower efficacy rates, with even some reports of products being made with dangerous ingredients. As a result, the FDA has currently identified 230 hand sanitizer products marketed in 2020 as unsafe or ineffective.

NCL commends the FDA and the CDC for their ongoing efforts to keep the American people safe. But the fight against this virus is far from over, and under-regulated hand sanitizer production and distribution will only prolong this public health crisis.

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

“For more than a century, the National Consumers League has fought for access to quality products, honest labeling, and safe, effective medicines for American consumers and workers. And leaving this growing issue alone would be a disservice to the many people NCL has worked so hard to protect.”

NCL urges the FDA and the CDC to enforce the law and hold accountable those businesses engaged in the production and distribution of poorly manufactured and dangerous hand sanitizer products.

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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 permanently lifting restrictions on access to mifepristone

April 26, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for moving to increase access to the abortion pill, mifepristone. As of April 12, the FDA will temporarily allow mifepristone to be dispensed by mail for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Patients are now able to obtain a safe and effective abortion pill through a telemedicine consult, without risking exposure to COVID-19 with an in-person visit.

Though mifepristone has been used in the United States for more than 20 years to safely and effectively end early pregnancies and treat early miscarriage, the FDA has placed particular restrictions on mifepristone when it’s used for pregnancy termination. Unlike other medications, patients can only obtain the abortion pill directly from a certified medical provider who has a prescriber agreement with the drug manufacturer.

In the early months of the pandemic, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and other provider groups filed a lawsuit that challenged these restrictions and subsequently won the suit to temporarily lift the restrictions to abortion care during the pandemic.

“This was a win for women’s health, but more importantly for women who live in rural and medically underserved communities who rely on telemedicine for their health care,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg.

The win, however, was short-lived. In January 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an appeal by the Trump Administration that put an end to the temporary lift, effectively restricting patient access to medication abortion care.

On April 11, Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, sent a letter to ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM), stating that the FDA reviewed recent evidence and found that using telemedicine to provide abortion pills would not increase risks and would help patients avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.

“While we welcome this temporary change, we urge the FDA to continue to review the evidence and scientific data and permanently lift unnecessary restrictions beyond the public health emergency. If it’s safe enough to prescribe through telemedicine during COVID, then it is clearly safe enough to use beyond COVID,” said Greenberg. “We hope the FDA will consider the vast health and socioeconomic benefits that increased access to medically safe abortion via telemedicine would pose for women who rely on this essential reproductive service.”

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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 testimony at CDC emergency meeting on J&J vaccine safety

April 23, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—Today the National Consumers League (NCL) testified before the emergency meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to discuss updates on the recommendations to pause the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. The full testimony appears below:

José R. Romero, MD, FAAP, Chair
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, N.E., Mailstop A27
Atlanta, GA 30329-4027

RE: Docket No. CDC-2021-0044; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

For over 120 years, the National Consumers League (NCL) has championed vaccine education and access for consumers to these lifesaving medical interventions. We extend our gratitude to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the opportunity to serve as a voice for consumers.

NCL commends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their concerted efforts to promptly address the recent adverse events observed by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The decision for a momentary pause in the distribution of the vaccine enacted out of “an abundance of caution” illustrates how swiftly the agencies acted on vaccine surveillance data.

Consumers should be comforted to know that the vaccine safety monitoring system in place to protect them is working effectively, and further encourages transparency, following the reports of severe cases of a rare form of blood clots observed in young women. The pause allowed the agencies to gather and review additional evidence to ensure the safety of the American people.

Over 560,000 Americans have already died from COVID-19. The risk Americans face for dying from COVID-19 is one in 600 persons. While the risk of dying from COVID clearly outweighs the risk of forming blood clots from the vaccine, we commend the efforts of public health officials to evaluate the specific effects of the vaccine on women, to help ensure further safety and efficacy.

Due to its ease of transport and one-shot delivery, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is the most accessible and convenient vaccine presently available. The vaccine has been administered to over 7 million Americans, with overwhelming success. Further delay of administering this vaccine only delays our ability to end the pandemic that much sooner.

The reports of adverse events experienced by patients who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are concerning and we appreciate the transparency afforded to the public during this time to identify and resolve the situation. NCL has long advocated for vaccine safety and for consumers to feel confident that they are safe, especially in the midst of a mass vaccination campaign.

In closing, we encourage the CDC to maintain effective public messaging to instill vaccine confidence. Consumers should rest assured that vaccines are effective measures to protect public health and vital to national efforts in ending the pandemic.

Thank you for your consideration of our views on this important public health issue.

Sincerely,

Jeanette Contreras, MPP
Director of Health Policy
National Consumers League

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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 calls on Congress to protect consumers in wake of Supreme Court ruling in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC

April 23, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) is deeply disappointed with today’s Supreme Court ruling in AMG Capital Management, LLC v. Federal Trade Commission. For decades, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has relied on section 13(b) of the FTC Act to seek restitution for victims of fraud. The court’s decision in this case undermines that authority, making it significantly more difficult for the Commission to provide relief to consumers who are defrauded by scam artists and companies engaged in unfair or deceptive business practices.

The following statement is attributable to NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud John Breyault:

The Court today put the interests of a convicted scammer above the needs of fraud victims. We are incredibly disheartened at the decision to deprive the FTC of one of its most effective tools for clawing back criminals’ ill-gotten gains. This decision will embolden the criminals who annually defraud millions of consumers, costing them billions of dollars and untold emotional damage. We hear practically every day from victims of scams whose financial lives have been ruined by scammers. Consumer need and deserve a consumer protection agency empowered to make them whole. Congress should urgently pass legislation restoring the FTC’s 13(b) authority to obtain compensation on behalf of fraud victims.

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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.

Consumer group calls on Peloton to recall treadmills

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League is advising consumers to stop using Peloton treadmills and is calling on Peloton to immediately recall its Peloton Tread+ treadmill exercise machine. According to recent reports, the product poses a danger to children and pets — including a child death — in what has been described by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as a “different hazard pattern than is typically seen.” The CPSC learned that there were dozens of such incidents and issued a safety warning over this past weekend, saying it “found that the public health and safety requires this notice to warn the public quickly of the hazard.” The CPSC also took the unusual step of issuing an administrative subpoena to require Peloton to disclose the name of the child who died.

“This pattern of injury and death is not acceptable, and it is wrong for Peloton to blame user error,” said NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg. “The CPSC shouldn’t have to subpoena a company for information about a child who died using its product. The company should be working closely with the federal safety agency with jurisdiction over these products. Dozens of children getting dragged under a Peloton Treadmill and sustaining grave injuries or death requires immediate action by the company. Peloton should recall these Treadmills at no cost to customers and either redesign them to prevent hazards or stop selling the product altogether.”

Peloton is a $34 billion company predicted to double in value by 2024.

“The CPSC and the company must work together to expedite a recall and get these products out of people’s homes. These injuries are certainly foreseeable, and we thank Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), both of whom chair consumer subcommittees in Congress,” said Greenberg. “We agree with Senator Blumenthal, who called on Peloton to ‘immediately cooperate with the CPSC to recall its dangerous and deadly treadmill. Amid dozens of incidents of hurt kids and pets — with broken limbs, brain injuries, and death after being pulled underneath the machine — it’s clear that the Peloton Tread+ must be recalled.’”

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Schakowsky asked the CPSC to investigate earlier in April, noting: “With families spending more time at home and together, home exercise equipment dangers are especially worrisome, and any potential risks to consumers and their families must be carefully scrutinized. The CPSC must be able to act nimbly in identifying and responding to emerging hazards. In addition to the absence of publicly available information about the child fatality, other publicly reported incidents involving the same treadmill model suggest potential obstacles preventing the Commission from taking swift action to protect the public.”

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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 statement on congressional demand that the Biden Administration investigate competition and consumer protection abuses in the live event industry

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League (NCL) today applauded action by leaders of the House Commerce and Judiciary Committees calling on the Biden Administration to more actively enforce antitrust laws in the live events ticket marketplace. In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and Acting Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Slaughter, Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ-06), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) and David Cicilline(D-RI-01) signed a letter urging the Administration to more aggressively police antitrust violations in the live event industry and, specifically, to revisit the Department of Justice’s 2010 consent order which allowed the Live Nation-Ticketmaster merger to move forward, and launch an investigation of Live Nation Entertainment’s potentially unfair, deceptive, and anticompetitive conduct. The following statement is attributable to John Breyault, NCL Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud:

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and live events begin again, we must use this moment to address longstanding competition and consumer protection issues in the live event industry. The Live Nation Entertainment conglomerate controls 80 percent of primary ticket sales while holding significant market share in other areas of the live event industry, including venue ownership, event promotion, artist management, and secondary ticket sales. We urge the Biden Administration to heed Congress’ demand for stronger antitrust scrutiny of the live event industry and Live Nation Entertainment, in particular. Reining in the abuses of a rigged ticketing marketplace is a critically necessary step to restore fairness for live event fans.”

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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.

Student teams from North Dakota, Kentucky take national honors at LifeSmarts consumer literacy competition 

April 20, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—Students from Jamestown, ND, and Webster County, KY were crowned the 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions at a virtual event held this weekend, concluding today with very competitive nail-biting final match-ups. Jamestown High School beat out Dallas High School from Dallas, PA, for the 2020 title; Webster County was victorious over the team from Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, NC. 

LifeSmarts is an education and scholarship program run by the Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy organization. It competitively tests high school students’ knowledge of consumer awareness, with subjects including personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights and responsibility, technology, and the environment. LifeSmarts is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in partnership programs with student leadership programs FBLA, 4H, and FCCLA. 

“We are so proud of these students from North Dakota and Kentucky, who represented their state programs with class and pride to take the championship,” said LifeSmarts Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “They played hard and demonstrated their consumer smarts throughout the three-day event. They are true LifeSmarts champions.” 

Consumer-savvy teens representing 30 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 wild card teams, competed at the event. Throughout the 2020-2021 program year, more than 100,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at the 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship. Players answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions in the online competition. 

The 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions and other winning teams walked away with prizes and $50,000 in scholarships. 

2020 Winners
National Champions: Jamestown High School, Jamestown, North Dakota, coached by Marchel Krieger
2nd Place: Dallas High School, Dallas, Pennsylvania
3rd Place: Iola High School, Iola, Kansas and Barrington High School, Barrington, Rhode Island 

2021 Winners
National Champions: Webster County 4-H, Webster County, Kentucky, coached by Wade Raymer
2nd Place: Central Academy of Technology and ArtsMonroe, North Carolina
3rd Place: TWCA Club in Poolesville, Maryland and East Greenwich High School, East Greenwich, Rhode Island  

Teens from each of the nearly 60 champion teams represented at nationals competed as individuals, and the top five scorers received scholarships from NCL. This year’s winners were: 

2020 Individual Winners
Environment: Clement Hilty from Rhode Island
Personal Finance: Kareem Morsy from Pennsylvania
Health and Safety: Owen Sheff from Rhode Island
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Garret Wright from North Dakota
Technology and Workforce Preparation: Jarron Larson from North Dakota

2021 Individual Winners
Environment: Om Desai from Maryland
Personal Finance: Kylie Fung from California
Health and Safety: Rhett Huebner from Texas
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities: Wyles Gilfoil from Louisiana
Technology and Workforce Preparation: Yifan Zhao from California 

Of the Year Awards
Andrew Gryskewicz from Dallas High School in Dallas, PA, and Lily Martin from Webster County 4-H in Kentucky were named the 2020 and 2021 Students of the Year. Scott Neu (Wisconsin) and Sharon Rash (Oklahoma) were named LifeSmarts Coaches of the Year. 

Long-time State Coordinator Crystal Kraft, from North Dakota, earned the Coordinator of the Year honor. Kraft’s program was the only one in the country to hold an in-person state competition this year. 

The Sarah Weinberg Memorial Scholarship, given to students who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to community service, was awarded to Sophie Merka from Georgia. 

For team photos, event schedules, grid standings, and more, log on to https://lifesmarts.us2.pathable.com/ 

NCL thanks the sponsors who make the program possible including Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Melaleuca, Toyota, American Express, Intuit, and the Washington State Employees Credit Union. 

All winners at the national LifeSmarts Competition received valuable prizes donated by sponsors to the National Consumers League, including scholarships, gift cards, and fun swag items. To learn more about the program, contact NCL’s Lisa Hertzberg at (202) 835-3323. 

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About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts

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.

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.LifeSmarts.org, email LifeSmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at (202) 835-3323.

Leading patient advocates launch preterm birth prevention alliance to protect critical access to the sole fda-approved class of therapies to reduce recurrent preterm birth

April 20, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—Today, the National Consumers League (NCL), along with a coalition of patient advocacy organizations dedicated to advancing the health of mothers and infants, announced the launch of the Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance.

Members of the Alliance are joining forces in an effort to preserve patient access to the only Food & Drug Administration-approved class of treatments for pregnant women who have previously had an unexpected, or spontaneous, preterm birth. Together, Alliance members seek to ensure that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) hears concerns from the full range of stakeholders about the potential risks and impact of withdrawal for at-risk pregnant women and their providers.

For the fifth year in a row, the U.S. preterm birth rate has increased (to 10.2 percent of births), and preterm birth and its complications were the second largest contributor to infant death across the country. Preterm birth also represents a significant racial health disparity, with Black women in the U.S. experiencing premature delivery at a rate 50 percent higher than other racial groups throughout the country.

However, in 2020, the FDA proposed withdrawing hydroxyprogesterone caproate, commonly called “17P” or “17-OHPC”, the only FDA-approved class of branded and generic treatments to help prevent the risk of preterm birth in women with a history of spontaneous preterm birth. The FDA is currently determining whether to hold a hearing on the status of 17P, based on conflicting efficacy data from two studies composed of vastly different patient populations, one inclusive of women in the U.S. most vulnerable to preterm birth and one not.

“We’re fighting for a more inclusive healthcare system that gives everyone an equal chance to have the best outcomes possible,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League. “We don’t believe that removing 17P from the market without gaining a better understanding of who could benefit the most from its use is in the best interests of patients, nor their healthcare providers, particularly as there are no other approved treatment options available.”

To date, 14 organizations have joined NCL to advocate for the health interests of at-risk pregnant women and infants, including: 1,000 Days; 2020 Mom; American Association of Birth Centers; Black Mamas Matter Alliance; Black Women’s Health Imperative; Expecting Health; Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Montana; HealthyWomen; Miracle Babies; National Birth Equity Collaborative; National Black Midwives Alliance; National Partnership for Women & Families; Sidelines High-Risk National Support Network; and SisterReach.

“As a trained obstetrician and gynecologist, I know firsthand the impact of preterm birth on Black women and birthing people. I also know that racism – not race – is the driving factor leading the disproportionate impact of preterm birth on Black women and birthing people thereby exacerbating systemic inequities in maternal and infant health. To achieve birth equity, which is the assurance of the conditions of optimal births for all people with a willingness to address racial and social inequities in a sustained effort, we must work to protect and uphold a standard of care for spontaneous, recurrent preterm births and ensure it remains accessible and affordable for all who stand in need,” added Dr. Joia Crear Perry, founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative.

The Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance is calling for the FDA to grant a public hearing to fully consider all of the data, additional research methods, and stakeholder perspectives before deciding whether to withdraw approval of this critical class of therapies. The health of America’s moms and babies warrants the utmost care and consideration.

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About the Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance

The Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance is a coalition of maternal and women’s health advocates who share a common concern about the state of preterm birth in the United States and the proposed market withdrawal of 17P, the only FDA-approved class of treatments to help prevent spontaneous, recurrent preterm birth. Formed in 2021 by the National Consumers League, we seek to improve preterm birth outcomes in the United States by maintaining access to safe, FDA-approved treatment options and advocating for more diverse medical research that adequately represents the experiences of women and newborns of color. Women of color need a seat at the table. To learn more, visit www.pretermbirthalliance.org.

Initial support for the Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance is provided by Covis Pharma.

National Consumers League to host first-ever virtual National LifeSmarts Championship April 17-19

April 16, 2021

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org(412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org(202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—In celebration of Financial Literacy Month, the National Consumers League (NCL) has announced the nearly 60 champion teams who will gather this weekend to compete in the first-ever virtual National LifeSmarts Championship.

LifeSmarts (LifeSmarts.org), a consumer education competition that challenges teens in grades 9-12 about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities, is a program of the National Consumers League (NCL). In LifeSmarts, students compete online and in-person at the local and state levels. Top-scorers progress to their state competitions, and then State Champion teams meet each April to compete in the National LifeSmarts Championship. In 2019, at the most recent National LifeSmarts Championship, Rhode Island’s Barrington High School took home the title.

A year ago, NCL was forced to cancel the 2020 national event due to the coronavirus pandemic, but 2020 State Champion and Wild Card teams are being welcomed back to compete in the rescheduled event, which will take place simultaneously online along with the 2021 program. In all, 33 teams will compete at the 2021 national event and 24 teams will compete for the 2020 title.

The 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champion teams will be crowned on Monday, April 19.

Complete roster of state champions teams listed below.

Consumer-savvy teens representing 30 states, the District of Columbia, and 11 Wild Card teams, will compete at this year’s event. Throughout the 2020-2021 program year, more than 100,000 teens competed online for a chance to represent their states at the 2021 National LifeSmarts Championship. Players answered more than 3.5 million consumer questions in the online competition.

“We are so proud of our 2020 and 2021 LifeSmarts champions, who have proven themselves to be the best and the brightest of the next generation of consumers,” said Lisa Hertzberg, National LifeSmarts Program Director. “For 27 years, LifeSmarts has been engaging and educating young consumers in a fun format and with a competitive approach. Our program goes in-depth on the issues kids—and young adults—are facing now as consumers and workers.”

The 2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions and other winning teams will walk away with prizes and $50,000 in scholarships. In addition to placing as a team, individual students have the opportunity to compete for scholarships by demonstrating knowledge in specific program topic areas. The top eight placing teams and top 10 individuals are recognized, as well as the recipients of specialized scholarships.

NCL thanks the sponsors who make the program possible including Amazon, Johnson & Johnson, Melaleuca, Toyota, American Express, Intuit, and the Washington State Employees Credit Union.

Event kickoff + competition and weekend activities
When: Saturday, April 17 at 1pm Eastern through Monday, April 19
Where: visit LifeSmarts.org for a link to the conference platform and more information about the program

2020 and 2021 National LifeSmarts Champions will be determined in matches taking place on Monday, April 19

Follow the competition online

Parents and supporters can follow the action at Facebook.com/LifeSmarts and via Twitter: #LifeSmartsNationals

2021 National LifeSmarts Championship Teams
Arizona—Altitude 6.0 – Flagstaff Home Educators
Arkansas—Bryant Hornets 4 – Bryant High School
California—Grizzlies2 – Los Osos High School
Connecticut—Crosby Bulldogs- Crosby High School
Florida—Leto Red – Leto High School
Georgia—Columbia County 4-H Senior Team
Hawaii—Waipahu High School
Idaho—Minidoka County 4-H Teen Association
Illinois—West Chicago Community High School
Kansas—Gardner Edgerton High School
Kentucky—Webster County 4-H
Louisiana—West Feliciana High School
Maryland—TWCA Club
Michigan—Fenton Accounting – Fenton High School
Minnesota—LCWM Blue, Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial
Missouri—BHS Falcons – Blair Oaks High School
New Jersey—Montgomery MFJC – Montgomery High School
North Carolina—CATA Cougars, Central Academy of Technology and Arts
North Dakota—Bottineau High School
Oklahoma—Tiger 2021 – Pryor High School
Pennsylvania—Cumberland Valley High School
Rhode Island—East Greenwich High School Avengers
Tennessee—Putnam County 4-H
Texas—Bartlett FCCLA – Bartlett High School
Virginia—Econoponax – Massaponax High School
Washington—Selah FCCLA – Selah High School
West Virginia—JMHS Marketing – John Marshall High School
Wisconsin—Belleville High School
4-H Wild Card 1—Gordon County 4-H, Georgia
FCCLA Wild Card—Muleshoe Mules – Muleshoe High School, Texas
4-H Wild Card 2—Madison County 4-H, Georgia
Varsity Wild Card 1—North East High School, Pennsylvania
FBLA Wild Card—West Carteret High School FBLA, North Carolina

2020 National LifeSmarts Championship Teams
Arizona—Altitude 5.0 – Flagstaff Home Educators
DC—McKinley Technology High School
Florida—Duval 4-H Diplomats
Georgia—Oconee County 4-H
Illinois—West Chicago Community High School
Kansas—Iola High School
Louisiana—West Feliciana High School
Minnesota—Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial
Missouri—Husker Varsity 1 – Lafayette County C-1 High School
North Carolina—North Carolina Leadership Academy
North Dakota—Jamestown High School
Oklahoma—Pryor High School
Pennsylvania—Dallas High School
Rhode Island—Barrington High School Blue
Texas—Biz-e-Teen – Midcities Montessori
Virginia—Econoponax – Massaponax High School
West Virginia—The Voluntolds – John Marshall High School
Wisconsin—Tomahawk High School
4-H Wild Card—Rockdale County 4-H, Georgia
FCCLA Wild Card—Niangua High School FCCLA, Missouri
Wild Card 1—Waipahu High School, Hawaii
Wild Card 2—Gwinnett County 4-H , Georgia
Wild Card 3—Sunrise Christian Academy, Kansas
Wild Card 4—4-H Y’all – WIT Home Educators, Virginia

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About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts

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.

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: www.LifeSmarts.org, email LifeSmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at (202) 835-3323.