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Articles by Consumers Union

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is a nonprofit independent organization chartered in 1936 to provide consumers with information, education, and counsel about goods, services, health, and personal finance; and to initiate and cooperate with individual and group efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of life for consumers.

Featured Article

Genetically modified foods — you’ve heard about them, but you probably don’t know whether you’re eating them. They’re produced by splicing genes, those little segments of DNA that code for particular traits, from one plant or animal species and inserting them into another. Biotechnology companies are cooking up all sorts of techniques to engineer organisms in ways that they claim could make crops easier to grow, foods more nutritious, and production more efficient. But the jury is still out on the actual benefits these techniques will bring and there is growing concern about their impact on the environment and the security of our food supply.

Corn, potatoes, and cotton have been made to produce their own pesticides; squash and papaya can fight disease thanks to genes from a virus; and soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton have been rendered immune to certain weed-killing chemicals. Beyond crops, genetic engineering has been employed to make bacteria that produce bovine growth hormone to boost milk production in cows. Canadian scientists have given pigs a mouse gene to reduce the phosphorus in their manure in order to lessen the environmental im... Read more

All Articles

  • How green is your pleasure machine?

    They be jammin’. When you look at U.S. transportation habits, you start to wonder where in the world we’re all going, and why we’re working so hard to get there. The average household makes more than six car trips per day, each averaging nine miles. With busier schedules, we are each spending an average of […]

  • Bright ideas for saving energy

    Power plants and climate change have been on the minds of many consumers who lost electrical service and sweated out the record-breaking temperatures that recently hit areas across the country. Most experts believe the planet’s temperature has been rising as a result of increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, […]

  • The grass can be greener on your side of the fence

    As summer approaches, we spend more time outside, and our annual commune — or battle — with nature begins. Whether it’s keeping your lawn from turning into a meadow, or protecting your home and garden from insects, be aware that some techniques are easier on the environment than others. Lawns have become the hallmark of […]

  • Advice on how to cope with aging appliances

    Before you buy, consider: Do you need a new product at all? Increasingly, consumers opt to toss belongings out before their useful lives are truly over. Rapidly changing technology is one reason for this trend — we want new products with new features. But often items are discarded because they are difficult to fix when […]