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!

11 surprising facts you may not know about caffeine

ali.jpgMarch is both Caffeine Awareness Month and National Nutrition Month, an appropriate time to take an updated look at the world’s most consumed “pick-me-up.” Caffeine consumption is widespread in the United States, with 85 percent of the population drinking at least one caffeinated beverage per day. This year, for the first time in its 35-year history, the official U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes findings and recommendations on caffeine.  

Read More →

Combatting the opioid abuse epidemic

karinb.jpgIn the midst of a national epidemic of opioid abuse, our healthcare policymakers are trying to figure out how best to combat this intractable problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioids, (which include the prescription painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and others) and the illegal drug heroin were involved in 28,647 overdose deaths in 2014. Drug overdose deaths are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, even surpassing car crashes.

Read More →

Egregious lawyer's fees hurting consumers

SG-headshot.jpgAs a lawyer myself, two recent articles on rising lawyer’s fees caught my attention. According to the Wall Street Journal, some lawyers at “white shoe firms” are now charging up to $1,500 an hour for their services. These are not harmless developments without ancillary effects. Most of these firms are working for big corporations–or shockingly, local or state government–which simply pass these exorbitant fees along to their customers or taxpayers. In other words, the little guy ultimately pays for these fees. 

Read More →

Will Obama’s cybersecurity plan help consumers?

It seems appropriate that the Obama Administration chose Safer Internet Day to announce its new Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP). At a time when massive data breaches continue to be the norm, rather than the exception, it is heartening to see the President take comprehensive action to address ongoing threats to consumers’ data. So, what are some of the highlights of the CNAP? Will it help consumers getting pummeled by data breaches? 

Read More →

European Union’s scheme for airline passengers’ rights

SG-headshot.jpgIn September 2015, I arrived at JFK airport in New York at 10:30 am for a quick flight to Washington, DC. I had a full day of meetings and was eager to get to the office. To my unpleasant surprise, I ended up arriving home at 6:00 pm. Weather was not a factor for the lengthy delays because the weather conditions were perfect in both DC and New York. Ultimately, American Airlines (AA) noted that it was their own mechanical and crew problems that caused the full day of delays. But, AA did not offer any passengers a dime of compensation for wasting their entire day. This seemed so wrong to me that it sparked my interest in what other countries provide for airline passengers’ rights. 

Read More →