Los Angeles receives the BAN Award for outlawing animal fur

The City of Los Angeles, California receives the February 2019 BAN Award for being the largest municipality in the United States to outlaw the sale of animal fur, depriving consumers of fashion choices and endorsing a policy that ignores evidence on animal conservation.

The ban is expected to go into full force by 2021, unless the second vote on the matter changes and Mayor Eric Garcetti doesn’t sign the bill. However, because the vote was a 13-1 margin, it is likely to pass.

“Rather than following the evidence on animal conservation, the city council of Los Angeles has blindly succumbed to the wishes of activist animal rights groups who have spread misinformation on the fur trade,” said Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center, a millennial consumer advocacy group.

“Such a ban will have immediate consequences. First, it deprives consumers of the choice to wear fur or not. Second, it ignores the evidence of vital wildlife conservation for balancing our ecosystems. Last, it will force the existing companies out of business and underground, creating a black market that will be unregulated without regard for consumer standards and safety,” said Ossowski.

“Responsible wildlife management is a vital part of maintaining our ecosystems, and responsible players in the fur industry have done this. Criminalizing these elements will do more harm than good, and deprive consumers of their fashion choices.

“Making the buying and selling of fur an illegal act is anti-consumer, anti-free expression, and a huge blow to legitimate animal welfare efforts,” said Ossowski.

“Rather than following the whims of activists, municipalities should allow consumers to choose the fashion items they wish to wear, whether those be made of fur or not, and help support a vital fur trade that actively helps support and balance our environment and ecosystems.”

About the BAN Award:

Every month the Consumer Choice Center awards an institution, person, or organization with the Bureau of Nannyism or short BAN Award. The BAN Awards recognize the work of an individual or organization that has made major contributions to advocating limits on consumer choice. This award serves to recognize extraordinary abilities in disregarding consumers and evidence-based public policy. The award was created by the Consumer Choice Center to draw attention to the important role politicians, lobbies, and advocates play in limiting consumers’ choice and ignoring them in the policymaking process.

Selection criteria: The Bureau of Nannyism (BAN) is a group of consumer choice advocates that discuss nominations on a monthly base and award the nominee with the most innovative or most blunt actions against consumer choice with the BAN award.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Praising Santa Barbara County’s innovative cannabis regulations

The nascent cannabis sector is alive and well in California.

While many other California counties have shut the door on the legal cannabis market, Santa Barbara County has ensured both consumers and entrepreneurs can profit from cultivation and trade –– and that remains a huge boon to the local economy, taxpayers, and residents.

Out of the 6,481 (temporary) cannabis cultivation licenses in the State of California, 2,075 of them are in Santa Barbara County, accounting for nearly one third (as of February 7, 2019). The potential for job creation and positive economic impact is already being felt.

That’s in large part thanks to Santa Barbara County’s agricultural capabilities and history, its innovative and model rules, and its more flexible approach to welcoming farmers and entrepreneurs who are now entering this legal market. This approach will continue to benefit consumers not just here, but throughout the state. The same applies to the hundreds of local farmers who have already established themselves as competitive players in the state cannabis space.

That’s why we applaud the market-friendly environment so far cultivated in Santa Barbara County, and it should continue to be a model for other jurisdictions currently updating their rules.

The primary goal of cannabis regulations in a state where it is legal, such as California, should be to create smart cannabis policy, defined as a model of regulation that encourages markets, competition, safety, and the eradication of the black market. That’s how consumers and residents will reap the most benefits.

There will bad apples, no doubt. But existing regulations and rules, properly enforced, are the best method for ensuring compliance. That’s especially important when discussing nuisance concerns, laws on odor, size of cannabis farms, and keeping communities safe. Ultimately, consumers and residents alike want rules that help propel a legal and competitive market.

California’s entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the Santa Barbara County’s cannabis space, and lawmakers would be wise to harness and ultimately propel this rather than relegating back to the drawing board. The current rules have drawn significant investment to this county, and the benefits will continue to be dispersed.

This is especially true as the Board of Supervisors considers any arbitrary limits on farm size, retail storefronts, and additional nuisance regulations. Let’s continue to offer praise for Santa Barbara’s cannabis regulations that will continue to serve as a model nationwide.

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

‘Pot Banks’: The Answer for a Budding Industry?

When California voters approved Proposition 64 in November 2016, the Golden State became effectively the largest jurisdiction in the world to legalize recreational sale and use of cannabis. On January 1 of this year, when recreational sales were legalized, politicians, tax collectors, and business owners already were seeing green. The state estimates it will collect $600 million in taxes from cannabis sales. And it doesn’t end there.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Cancer Warnings On Coffee Is A Mistake

CONTACT:
Jeff Stier
Senior Fellow
Consumer Choice Center

Cancer Warnings On Coffee Is A Mistake

Washington, D.C. –Last week a California Judge ruled that coffee companies such as Starbucks will be required to place cancer warnings on coffee sold in the State of California. The ruling has come after Starbucks, and other coffee companies were sued for allegedly violating California law which mandates that companies warn consumers if cancer-causing chemicals are present in their products. The chemical in question for coffee is acrylamide, which is a byproduct of the roasting process.

The Consumer Choice Center’s Senior Fellow Jeff Stier criticized the move, stating the broad acceptance of IARC classifications challenges the very meaning of the word “carcinogen”. Stier said ”IARC monographs are hazard assessments, which ask whether something could potentially cause cancer.”

“That designation is of little value to the public without a risk assessment, which takes into account factors such as the level of exposure to the hazard. Think of it this way: Getting hit by a subway car is a hazard. If you live in the desert, getting hit by a subway is still a hazard – it’s just not a risk you should worry about where you live. Yet in the U.S, IARC’s hazard assessments are routinely used by zealous environmentalists as an acceptable substitute for risk assessments. And they are now being embedded into American consumer law,” said Stier

“The biggest example is California’s Proposition 65, a law that requires cancer and birth defect warning labels on a range of products containing chemicals thought to be dangerous. The list of chemicals covered by the 1986 law has ballooned to more than 900, in part because unelected California bureaucrats decided to rely on IARC for identifying those to be added to the list. Ubiquitous California warning labels have become meaningless to consumers, cost businesses millions of dollars each year, and are a boon only to class-action lawyers.”

***CCC Senior Fellow Jeff Stier is available to speak with accredited media on consumer regulations and consumer choice issues. Please send media inquiries HERE.***

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org.

mm

About Jeff Stier

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Choice Center.

Mr. Stier has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and has addressed health policy on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, as well as network newscasts. He is a guest on over 100 radio shows a year, including on NPR and top-rated major market shows in cities including Boston, Philadelphia, and Sacramento, plus syndicated regional broadcasts.

Jeff’s op-eds have been published in top outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Forbes, The Washington Examiner, and National Review Online.

California’s proposed public pot bank is a disaster waiting to happen

CAL COAST NEWS: Opening the banking sector for cannabis-based businesses is necessary, but a government-owned and operated bank in California will only invite more problems and prove disastrous to California’s residents and taxpayers.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

California eyeing State-run bank for marijuana

NOQ: “For a state that is already plagued with so many economic problems, despite its recent budget surplus, the idea of the state running its own bank should worry every person in California,” said Yaël Ossowski, the Deputy Director for the Consumer Choice Center in Washington, D.C.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Watchdog Warns Against California’s Idea For Public Pot Bank

CALIFORNIA POLITICAL REVIEW: Should the State of California have a state-owned bank, so the marijuana industry has a place to do its banking? Part of the problem is that a bank is not a repository for money, alone. To keep the bank open, it will have to loan money. That means a government bank will be in competition with a privately owned bank. The government bank does not have to make a profit, the private ones do.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

California considers state-run bank for pot businesses

THE HILL: “Opening the banking sector for cannabis-based businesses is necessary, but a government-owned and operated bank in California will only invite more problems and prove disastrous for California’s residents and taxpayers,” said Yael Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Watchdog Warns Against California’s Idea For Public Pot Bank

WASHINGTON FREE BEACON: The idea drew an immediate rebuke from a major consumer watchdog group, the Consumer Choice Center, who warned it could lead to scandal and mismanagement.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

CA treasurer and attorney general move on plan to create public bank for pot businesses

THE SACRAMENTO BEE: “For a state that is already plagued with so many economic problems, despite its recent budget surplus, the idea of the state running its own bank should worry every person in California,” said Yaël Ossowski, the Deputy Director for the Consumer Choice Center in Washington, D.C.

READ MORE

mm

About Yaël Ossowski

Yaël Ossowski is a journalist, activist, and writer. He's currently deputy director at the Consumer Choice Center, and senior development officer for Students For Liberty. He was previously a national investigative reporter and chief Spanish translator at Watchdog.org, and worked at newspapers and television stations across the country. He received a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE) at the CEVRO Institute in Prague. Born in Québec and raised in the southern United States, he currently lives in Vienna, Austria.