Center for Science in the Public Interest on Drinking and on Smoking

Why does the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) attack drinking but completely ignore the disease and mortality risks of smoking?

Scientific medical research has clearly established that light to moderate drinking is associated with better health and longevity than abstaining. Drinking in moderation is good for us, unless contraindicated.

Research has also clearly demonstrated that smoking is associated with cancer, other diseases, and premature death. It shortens life by over ten years on average. Smoking is the number one health risk in the U.S.

So why does the Center for Science in the Public Interest continue its barrage of attacks on drinking while remaining completely silent about the serious threat to life and health posed by smoking?

Perhaps the answer is simple.... money. CSPI receives much money from those who are opposed to drinking., and it attacks alcohol. It has also received four grants from the Reynolds (tobacco) family interests, and it remains completely silent about the nations’ number one health problem.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest preaches a lot about integrity and seems intent on stigmatizing anyone who has ever received any money from tobacco, pharmaceutical, food, or beverage-related interests. This seems to be a blatant case of “do as we say” not “do as we do.” Apparently, CSPI thinks others are corrupted but that it isn’t.

References

  • Alcohol Policies Project of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). http://cspinet.org/booze/
  • Bennett, J. and DiLorenzo, T. Food and Drink Police: Center for Science in the Public Interest Wants Government to Control Our Eating Habits. Washington, DC: Capital Research Center, 1998. (Available at www.heartland.org/archives/health/may02/police.htm)
  • Bonvie, L., and Bonvie, B. Strong-arming an innocent herb. Providence Journal, May 10, 2000. (Available at www.stevia.net/article.htm) [Demonstrates the Center for Science in the Public Interest's lack of even-handedness in selecting the targets it selects to attack. Ironically, the Center for Science in the Public Interest makes a big issue of integrity... not its own but the alleged lack of integrity of those with whom it disagrees.]
  • Bovard, J. Booze Busting: the New Prohibition. The Future of Freedom Foundation, December, 1998. (Available at www.fff.org/freedom/1298.asp)
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest Alcohol Policies Project. CSPI on Youth-Targeted Booze Ads: Statement of CSPI Alcohol Policies Project Director George Hacker. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest press release, 9-24-02 (www.cspinet.org/booze/youth_ads.html).
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest Alcohol Policies Project. Alcohol Marketers Assailed for Targeting Kids During Super Bowl: President Urged to Challenge Beer and Liquor Ads. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest press release, 1-25-01.
  • Center for Science in the Public Interest What Teens and Adults Say about "Alcopops." Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest Alcohol Policies Project, (summary) , 2001.
  • Duplantier, F.R. A Bronx cheer for professional scolds: There's nothing scientific about the Center for Science in the Public Interest, nor does the Center have any interest in the interests of the public. America's Future, April 15, 1998. (Available at www.americasfuture.net/1998/june98/98-0615a.html)
  • Foltz, K. Alcohol on the rocks; the new Prohibitionists.... Newsweek, 1984 (Dec. 31), 104, 52-54. [Describes the Center for Science in the Public Interest.]
  • FTC: malt beverage ads don't target minors. Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, 2002 (July 17), 14(24), 6-8. [The FTC found no evidence that malt beverage ads target minors as charged by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.]
  • Fumento, M. Food fight. Forbes, November 11, 2002. (Available at www.fumento.com/nutr/quorn.html) [Is Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest dishonest or simply incompetent? Or could Mr. Jacobson simply be incredibly careless with research methods and data?]
  • Jacobsen, M., Hacker, G., and Atkins, R. The Booze Merchants: The Inebriating of America. Washington, DC: Center for Science in the Public Interest Books, 1983. [This book is an excellent case study of deception. It also documents that decades ago Center for Science in the Public Interest was insisting that alcohol ads "target" young people. Although the federal government has found no evidence to support that claim, Center for Science in the Public Interest continues to make the assertion to this day. The temperance organization seems to follow the nazi belief that if a falsehood is repeated often enough, people will believe it. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has often been referred to as the "food police." It also appears to be the alcohol gestapo.]
  • Milloy, S. College Drinking Study is Intoxicating Scam, www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,50104,00.html
  • New York Seafood Council. Is Seafood the Leading Cause of Foodborne Illness Outbreaks? (available at www.nyseafood.org/breakingnews_archive_1.asp) [Excellent example of apparently intentional deception by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that may have the unintended effect of harming public health.]
  • Nonprofit paycheck: The Center for Science in the Public Interest. Science & Government Report, 2001 (March 15), 31(5), 5-7. [Reports the pay and benefits of Michael Jacobson and other heads of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.]
  • Royko, M. Attacked by a killer egg roll. Reader’s Digest, 1994, 145(872), 27-29. [The Center for Science in the Public Interest continuously issues reports of questionable scientific validity attacking a wide range of foods and beverages.]
  • Social Issues Research Centre. Of Public Interest? (Available at www.sirc.org/articles/public_interest.shtml). [The Center for Science in the Public Interest warns of the health dangers of C-reactive protein but conveniently chooses not to report that moderate drinkers have only half the levels of the dangerous substance found in alcohol abstainers. Presumably because of its anti-alcohol stance, CSPI somehow feels justified in withholding this important health information that might save people's lives. So much for the interest of the public!]