CSPI’s Latest Dietary Flip-Flop

With Halloween right around the corner, the killjoys at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) built the scary atmosphere last week by releasing a report on the top 10 “riskiest” foods. And of course, the report had the effect of inciting scaremongering about foods we eat, especially at Good Morning America, according to NewsBusters:

The segment ended with a video of Smith in a wheelchair and [GMA’s Sharyn] Alfonsi voicing over, “Smith says she’s proof that a single meal — a single ingredient — can change your life.”
GMA’s Diane Sawyer kept the food scare going, chiming in, “And again [Smith] seems to have no prior health problems. This can just strike and you don’t know who’s going to get the most severe reaction.”

What reporters didn’t mention was that five of the 10 “risky” foods were also on CSPI’s list of “10 Super Foods for Better Health.” Oops.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the food cops at CSPI have done an about-face. In the mid-1980s, CSPI launched an all-out assault on fast food restaurants that used beef fat and palm oil to cook their French fries, even saying in a newsletter that “All told, the charges against trans fat just don’t stand up. And by extension, hydrogenated oils seem relatively innocent.”
By 2004, however, CSPI’s executive director Michael Jacobson was bashing trans fats and calling for restaurants to dump it, and in 2006 CSPI filed a frivolous lawsuit against a fast food chain for using cooking oils that contained trans fat.
So CSPI is for a food, before it’s against it. Again. Perhaps the “S” stands for “Schizophrenia.”

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