National Consumers League

From the Experts Blog

NCL staff is hard at work for you playing watchdog on a variety of issues. Get to know the latest From the Experts!

The LifeSmarts Safety Smart connection

This post originally appeared on LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League.

For the past two years LifeSmarts has partnered with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) on its Safety Smart® Ambassador program to provide a way for LifeSmarts students to give back through community service. LifeSmarts students become Safety Smart Ambassadors by delivering interactive safety messages to younger children in their communities.

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The meningitis B vaccine must be added to the routine vaccine schedule

Meningitus B (MenB) is a frightening illness. It can overtake and kill in 24 hours. College-age students who live in close quarters are the usual victims.  If it doesn’t kill, it often causes grievous injury—especially to the extremities—including loss of fingers, toes, feet, or parts of the face. While vaccines against other strains of meningitis have long been available, those for MenB have only been approved in the U.S. for a few months. Thanks to Pfizer and Novartis, we now have two effective FDA approved vaccine choices to protect against this terrible MenB strain. Unfortunately, neither is required on the routine schedule of vaccinations. 

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March is National Nutrition Month: What's the Buzz on Caffeine?

By Kelsey Albright & Sally Greenberg

March is National Nutrition Month making it the perfect opportunity to reflect on the state of the American diet. This year, with March being Caffeine Awareness Month, caffeine is on our mind. Whether it’s a strong cup of morning Joe, a green tea with sushi, a chocolate bar at the movies, or an energy drink to get through the work day, the fact is that 85 percent of the U.S. population consumes caffeine daily. And, while we know where to find it, what do we really know about caffeine? During National Nutrition Month, NCL is taking a closer look at the world’s most commonly consumed “pick-me-up.”  

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WalMart's raising wages. Yay?

Walmart is getting a lot of attention for pledging to raise the minimum wages it pays employees to $9 an hour by April and $10 an hour within a year. As the economy recovers and more jobs are available, apparently WalMart is having trouble filling its workforce. 

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Why maintaining 529 tax benefits was the right decision

Sometimes, even people you respect do stupid things. I’m talking about the Obama Administration’s proposal for taxing families that put money into 529 college savings plants. Right now, parents can set aside funds for their kids’ college education which gets invested in mutual funds and any growth in investment is tax free. In other words, when your son or daughter is ready for college, if you put $20,000 away and it’s now worth $30,000, that $10,000 gain goes untaxed. 

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