CSPI: Center for Science in the Public Interest

The Problem: CSPI

CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) has a long history of ignoring or distorting scientific evidence. It does this when the evidence is inconsistent with its agenda.

Read about some of CSPI’s misuse of scientific findings. Visit The Center for Science in the Public Interest: Not Scientific and Not in the Public Interest.

A Defense

Yet the CSPI has its supporters. And its defenders.

A person named Martin at New York University sent the following email. Its subject line was “Who Funds You?” He mailed it without any salutation or signature.

Michael Jacobson, co-founder of CSPI

I read your diatribe against CSPI. And while you can fool the lay public, you cannot fool the scientific community.  What you say reveals that you are either very ignorant of what the function of this organization is and/or you are on the payroll of the food industry.  It is just downright silly to accuse CSPI for not using the scientific method. That is clearly not its purpose. Its purpose is to use the results of studies which indeed use the scientific method. The goal to make the case that there are many unhealthy practices in the marketplace. They must be addressed and eliminated.

Martin’s reading of the page was superficial. Clearly posted on the page is this notice.


This is the personal web site of Dr. David J. Hanson. He has received no financial support or other consideration from any agency, company, group or person to post or maintain it.

A Reply

In spite of his careless reading and somewhat rude note, I sent this explanation.

Dear Martin,

Thank you for your interest in my page on the CSPI. I receive no support or benefit from anyone or any group for my website. Therefore, I’m completely free to follow the truth wherever it leads.

The name of the CSPI is misleading. It implies that CSPI is scientific. Or at least bases it recommendations on scientific evidence.

More important is the fact that CSPI repeatedly either ignores or misuses scientific evidence. It is not alone in such actions. Groups promoting biodynamics, homeopathy, and other practices not supported by scientific evidence often distort the evidence. The same is true of many who oppose irradiation of foods, GMO foods, inoculations, fluoridation, etc.


You note that the purpose of the CSPI is “to use the results of studies which indeed use the scientific method to make the case that there are many unhealthy practices in the marketplace. They must be addressed and eliminated.”

Any group that really wants to promote more healthful eating habits should first look objectively at the scientific evidence. It then bases its recommendations on that evidence.

But CSPI reverses the process. It Center for Science in the Public Interestopposes certain foods as undesirable for its own reasons. Then it cherry-picks the “evidence” to support its preconceived agenda.

The CSPI lacks credibility among those who take the time to look carefully at its long history of deception. This includes both scientists and the public.

I’ve blown the whistle on the CSPI. But I also alert people to the unscientific and unproven nature of other practices. This includes herbal, holistic, naturopathic, homeopathic, and orthomolecular medicine for treating alcoholism. And also hypnotherapy, meditation, and spiritual help for the same problem.

Doing these things is an important public service.

Best regards,


Center for Science in the Public Interest


Let’s hope that Martin is a freshman rather than an advanced student. Or even a member of the faculty!

See Also

CSPI on Drinking and on Smoking. Money seems to influence what products the group attacks.

“Three Budweisers equal a Quarter Pounder.” Not true.

Clearly False Facts. The title is self-descriptive.

Alcopops and Weight. Very, very deceptive.

Alcohol Ads Target Youth?   Still more “mis-truth.”

More about the CSPI

They See Red – I See CSPI Misdirection.

CSPI: Perception Vs. Scientific Credentials.

How CSPI Undermines Science, Nutrition, And U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

CSPI Call For Caramel Color Ban Is Artificially Flavored With Misrepresented Science.

Deceptive Practices Undermine Credibility of Consumer Group.

Media Eat Up Food Police Messages And Ignore Group’s Extremism.