Highlights from 40 Years of Accomplishments


1973 CSPI launches campaign to bar the use of sodium nitrite in bacon and other cured meats, which ultimately results in significantly lower levels of nitrites in many foods.

1974 CSPI publishes Nutrition Scoreboard poster and distributes more than two million copies over the next 20 years. Nutrition Action Healthletter makes its debut.

1975 CSPI sponsors the first of three national Food Days to raise awareness of food safety and nutrition issues.

1978 CSPI petitions FDA to require sodium labeling of all foods and fat-content labeling of processed meats.

1982 CSPI's efforts to obtain sodium labeling culminate in a new FDA rule.

1987 FDA bans sulfite preservatives (a lethal allergen) in most fresh foods, following CSPI's five-year effort.

1988 CSPI wins passage of a federal law requiring a health warning label on all alcoholic beverage containers.

1989 CSPI campaign spurs major hamburger chains to stop cooking french fries in beef fat.

1990 CSPI's decade-long campaign wins a federal law requiring nutrition labeling of packaged foods and a ban on deceptive health claims. CSPI leads the effort to win passage of a federal law defining "organic" food.

1993 CSPI launches a series of landmark investigative reports (beginning with Chinese-restaurant food), revealing for the first time the nutritional value of restaurant foods.

1994 CSPI calls on the FDA to require the labeling of cholesterol-raising trans fats in foods and leads the effort to require lower-fat school meals.

1995 CSPI persuades the federal government to propose new regulations to force the food industry to do better at keeping disease-causing bacteria out of foods.

1996 CSPI expands its consumer education work into Canada and opens an advocacy office in Ottawa.

1997 CSPI's Nutrition Action Healthletter becomes the largest-circulation health newsletter in North America, bringing life-saving information to more than two million Americans and Canadians.

1998 CSPI wins the battle in Congress for $75 million in new funding for government food-safety inspections.

1999 CSPI convinces Congress to expand funding from $2 million to $15 million to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for nutrition-education and physical-activity programs. CSPI's campaign to warn Americans about the dangers of the fake fat olestra contributes to Procter & Gambles decision not to seek approval to use olestra in foods other than snacks.

2000 CSPI wins expanded bacteria testing for meat and increased funding for more food safety inspections.

2001 After a four-year effort by CSPI, USDA proposes mandatory nutrition labeling for ground meat and poultry. FDA requires a safe-handling notice on egg cartons to reduce Salmonella poisoning.

2002 CSPI wins funding increase to $27 million for CDC's programs to encourage better nutrition and more physical activity. CSPI blows the whistle on Quorn, a dangerous new food ingredient. CSPI obtains funding for the FDA to hire more imported-food inspectors and expand anti-food bioterrorism programs.

2003 After a ten-year CSPI-led drive, the FDA finalizes a rule requiring food manufacturers to list artery-clogging trans fats on Nutrition Facts labels. CSPI launches efforts in several states to require nutrition labeling on fast-food chain restaurant menu boards and menus. CSPI prods the FDA to test a wide range of brand-name foods for cancer-causing acrylamide.

2004 Prompted by publicity and pressure from CSPI, Congress passes a law requiring disclosure on food labels of the presence of allergens like peanuts, wheat, milk, soy, and egg to protect the six million Americans with food allergies. FDA proposes new regulations to keep Salmonella out of eggs.

2005 CSPI's new litigation unit compels food manufacturers to stop a number of deceptive ads and labels. CSPI reactivates its 25-year battle to reduce sodium content of packaged and restaurant foods. CSPI's efforts help spur new policies in many cities and states to reduce or remove soda and junk foods from public schools.

2006 CSPI’s threat to sue soft-drink companies spurs them to remove high-calorie soft drinks from schools. Likewise, court action (or the threat of it) by CSPI stops misleading ads and labels by Tropicana, Quaker, Frito-Lay, and other major food companies. CSPI stops a food-industry-led effort in Congress to overturn more than 200 tough state and local nutrition and food-safety laws.

2007 Helped pass menu labeling requirements in New York City and King County (Seattle), WA — and introduced similar legislation in many other cities, counties, and states. Convinced a number of restaurant chains and major food companies to voluntarily eliminate deadly trans fat from their foods. Persuaded Kellogg to stop marketing foods of poor nutritional quality to kids, which led to other companies, like General Mills, doing the same.

2008 CSPI's threatened lawsuit prompts Kellogg Company to adopt nutrition standards for marketing foods to children. Shortly thereafter, 11 major companies pledge to set similar standards through the voluntary "Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative." Following a CSPI lawsuit, KFC agrees to remove trans fat from its foods.

2009 With CSPI's input, the U.S. House of Representatives passes the most sweeping reform of the food-safety system in 70 years. After 15 years of urging by CSPI, the FDA announces it will require processing of raw oysters to eliminate deadly Vibrio vulnificus bacteria. CSPI helps secure a further increase in food-safety funding for the FDA, bringing to $390 million the total increase over the last three years.

2010 After a 10-year campaign by CSPI, Congress enacts mandatory calorie labeling on menus and menu boards at chain restaurants. Motivated by a CSPI drive, several major companies pledge to reduce sodium levels in their foods. CSPI makes major progress with enactment of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which will make historic improvements in programs addressing childhood obesity and nutrition.

2011 CSPI is instrumental in enactment of the historic Food Safety Modernization Act, giving the FDA the power and tools to prevent food contamination instead of having to track it down after an outbreak sickens and kills people. CSPI sponsors a successful national Food Day to educate millions of Americans about diet and health.

2012 CSPI hosts the first National Soda Summit to unite the movement to end soda-related diseases, and releases an animated short film, The Real Bears, which quickly goes viral thanks to an original song composed and performed by Jason Mraz and creative direction from ad legend Alex Bogusky. CSPI praises updated school nutrition standards, supporting the new healthier school lunches with resources and education campaigns as the standards take effect. Food Day reaches more Americans with its message of healthy, affordable, and sustainable food at more than three thousand events around the country.

2013 CSPI demonstrates that 97% of restaurant children's meals are unhealthy, initiating a campaign urging restaurants to take soda off of kids’ menus, lower sodium content, and provide more fruit and vegetable options. CSPI’s ongoing work to eliminate marketing of unhealthy food to children focuses on Nickelodeon, as well as celebrity endorsers of soda and other sugar drinks. CSPI brings attention to restaurants still using partially hydrogenated oil, including Long John Silver’s and Church’s Chicken, which both agree to phase out the harmful ingredient. Nutrition Action Healthletter goes online with NutritionAction.com, offering digital subscriptions and daily health tips. The food safety team releases Risky Meat, a report ranking the risk of serious illness from meat and poultry products.

2014 YOUR generous support ensures new victories for food safety and nutrition!

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