Center for Science in the Public Interest
CSPI is the nation’s leading advocacy organization focused on nutrition, food safety, and health. We represent the interests of consumers and work to bring solutions to problems in our food system to the attention of policy makers, industry, and the public. We helped pass the laws that put Nutrition Facts on packaged foods, defined organic standards, reformed food safety at the Food and Drug Administration, and got junk food out of schools.
Started 5 petitions
Ask Major Supermarkets for Healthier Options at Checkout
It’s no accident that nearly all supermarkets in America sell candy and soda in their checkout lanes. Placing junk food near the cash register is a marketing strategy that supermarkets use to boost sales. Not only do supermarkets benefit from the sale of junk food at checkout, but they’ve found a way to make even more money by “renting” out space in their checkout aisles to food companies that pay to have their products there. Supermarkets should support shoppers’ health, not undermine it. Join us in asking Walmart, Kroger, and other major supermarkets to do right by their customers and remove junk food from checkout.
Get Synthetic Food Dyes Out of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls!
Little Debbie Swiss Rolls have a combined 32 milligrams of Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 1 per serving, according to FDA data the Center for Science in the Public Interest obtained and analyzed. That level of artificial food dye is troubling, since clinical trials show that some children experience adverse behavioral reactions after consuming that much (or less). A recent Change.org petition garnered more than 217,000 signatures calling on Mars to drop artificial dyes in its U.S. M&Ms. On February 5, Mars announced that it will remove dyes from all of the foods it sells (for human consumption). Let’s get Little Debbie to do the same! Companies have been making dye-free products for European customers for years (because otherwise they’re required to put a warning label on the product). And now many U.S. brands are making the switch too. Frito-Lay has removed dyes from its Tostitos, Sun Chips, and other snack foods; Campbell has removed dyes from Goldfish crackers; Kraft has removed dyes from Macaroni & Cheese products; Nestle has dropped dyes from Butterfingers, Nesquik, and other products; and General Mills has removed dyes from numerous Yoplait yogurts (including Trix, Go-Gurt, and others), some of its fruit snacks (such as Roll-Ups), and 75% of its cereals. What’s even crazier? Hostess Ho Hos are no one’s idea of health food—but they’re made without synthetic food dyes! If Hostess can make snack cakes that look just like Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls without red, blue, and yellow dyes, then the maker of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls should be able to do the same.
Tell KFC to stop serving chicken raised with antibiotics!
Antibiotic resistance is an increasingly serious health problem. Every year, at least 2 million Americans get sick and 23,000 die from antibiotic-resistant infections. Two common foodborne pathogens, Campylobacter and Salmonella, account for one-fifth of those infections, according to CDC estimates. Giving chickens antibiotics when they aren't even sick is helping create antibiotic-resistant “superbugs.” When these superbugs get into our food they can cause serious illnesses that are difficult to cure. To get farms to change their practices, we need big restaurant chains like Kentucky Fried Chicken to stop serving food from animals fed a routine diet of antibiotics. McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, Subway and many other chains have committed to stop serving chicken raised on antibiotics. Please join the effort to keep antibiotics effective by sending the message below to the CEO of KFC, one of the country’s largest chicken purchasers.
Tell the FDA to Ban Harmful Synthetic Food Dyes
A number of studies -- and an emerging scientific consensus -- demonstrate that some children experience episodes of inattention, hyperactivity, and other harmful behavioral effects following exposure to synthetic dyes. Many of these dyes, including Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, require warning labels in Europe because of adverse health effects. Yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has failed to act to ban these cheap, synthetic chemicals with no nutritional or essential value from food. Please sign our petition asking the FDA to ban synthetic food dyes in the United States, and, in the meantime, to require a warning label on dye-containing foods and beverages. Thousands of parents of affected kids confirm these findings and have sent our organization emails detailing their families’ struggles to identify that dyes are the cause and help their children. These dyes are sold in products like Fruity Pebbles, Hawaiian Punch, Kool-Aid, and many others lining the shelves of grocery stores. We need members of the public to tell FDA to ban dyes and, in the meantime, to require a warning label on dye-containing foods and beverages to let parents know of the issue. Given how widespread dyes are in food, public pressure on the FDA and companies that use dyes is the best way to win this fight. Consumers have used Change.org and other social media channels to successfully communicate these concerns to major companies, and as a result of this advocacy Kraft removed artificial dyes from Mac & Cheese products, Taco Bell and Panera eliminated these dyes, and General Mills and Mars announced they’re doing away with them as well! Banning dyes is an achievable step that will improve the safety of the food supply, and we believe members of Congress and consumers will be able to successfully pressure the FDA to take decisive action to remove these dyes from our food system. In Europe, most synthetic dyes dropped out of the food supply after the European Union required a sensible, clear warning notice on foods containing dyes, based on studies done in the United Kingdom that showed the harmful effects of dyes on kids. Yet many companies that removed dyes from foods in Europe continue to sell the same foods in the United States with the artificial dyes still in them! As detailed in our recent report, Seeing Red: Time for Action on Food Dyes, studies show that susceptible children—which may number more than half-a-million in the U.S.—experience episodes of inattention, hyperactivity, or other behavioral effects, after consuming foods containing synthetic dyes. In addition, recent research has revealed far higher levels of dyes in commonly consumed foods than was previously thought. Please sign our petition and share it with your family and friends.
Urge Walgreens to get junk food out of checkout
Pharmacies offer health care services and hold themselves out as helping people on the path to better health. But placing soda and candy at checkout is an effective marketing strategy that elicits unplanned, impulse buys. Industry research shows that 72 percent of people shopping at drug stores bought an item at checkout in the past year. Even if shoppers resist temptation at checkout most of the time, giving in occasionally could be enough to tip their scales. Walgreens can sell candy and soda if it wants to. But the nation’s largest pharmacy should not be inducing people to buy these products when they didn’t plan to. Better to put soda and candy in the center of the store, where people can choose to shop those aisles if they want to. If Walgreens really wants its customers to be happy and healthy, it should keep the checkout area healthy and free from junk food. Please join the Center for Science in the Public Interest in urging Walgreens to stop pushing candy and soda on its customers. Leave it up to individuals to choose when and where to get a treat.