CFA’s 2023 Betty Furness Consumer Media Honors

Where State Farm Sees ‘a Lot of Fraud’, Black Customers See Discrimination

In this article, Emily Flitter of The New York Times detailed the story of systemic racism in the handling of claims and fraud investigations at State Farm. The article – centered around a whistleblower’s experience at the company – generated significant discussions among regulators about bias in the industry, helped propel the movement toward algorithmic audits of insurance companies, and led to a class action lawsuit against State Farm alleging discrimination resulting from its claims handling models.

Doug Heller, Director of Insurance

The FDA’s Food Failure

In this article, Helena Bottemiller Evich, writing for Politico, exposes failures within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s food program that have hampered the agency’s ability to address food safety threats and meet consumer expectations. Bottemiller uncovers the bureaucratic bumbling that contributed to a months long shortage of infant formula, and the agonizing delays that have stymied the implementation of clean water standards for fresh produce growers, required by Congress for over a decade. The article has helped to catalyze an ongoing process to reform the foods program at FDA.

Thomas Gremillion, Director of Food Policy

Embarrassing, Uncomfortable and Risky: What Flying Is Like for Passengers Who Use Wheelchairs

This story by Amanda Morris and photographed by Scott McIntyre of The New York Times follows an individual with a mobilized wheelchair through the entire flight process, with photos to document each part. His journey is fascinating, eye-opening, and thought-provoking. This story highlights the difficulties of flying with a wheelchair, and underscores the need for additional consumer protections in the air travel industry. As advocates, it is critical to remember the impact of problematic practices on consumers with disabilities.

Erin Witte, Director of Consumer Protection

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