Talk:Center for Science in the Public Interest

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Quorn[edit]

Someone should add something regarding CSPI's corruption in its actions involving in the Quorn controversy (see corresponding wiki entry). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 123.2.133.193 (talk) 13:09, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Yeah they have really got it in for Quorn. This needs to be mentioned. 82.113.148.68 (talk) 17:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
The Quorn article is a mess and I wouldn't use it as a model for anything. As best as I can find it, CSPI objects to the misleading claim that Quorn is made from mushrooms, and has raised concerns over a small but unknown/under-researched part of the population being allergic to the product. I couldn't find any sourcing that this one stands out among the group's many food safety campaigns, and in a quick search I didn't see any significant claims of misconduct on the part of CSPI. Like many industries accused of deceptive marketing or promoting unsafe products, this one accused the accusers, but that's not particularly noteworthy. - Wikidemon (talk) 20:55, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Balance issue[edit]

This is a slick piece; promotional throughout. Even the "criticism" section has been edited to make it sound as if only corporate evildoers oppose, for example, CSPI's lawsuits. This needs some work to balance. Cool Hand Luke 03:48, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Are there any specific edits you wish to call out on account of promotional or POV editing here? Do you have any specific content suggestions for the article, or qualms about the sourcing or balance of any of the current content? Is there noteworthy criticism or controversy coming from other than the corporate opponents of the organization? Is any of that criticism not covered accurately or fairly? - Wikidemon (talk) 05:39, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
When I have edits, I'll make them, but there is indeed noteworthy criticism of this group—a group that rejected early studies about trans-fat because it bumped into their crusades over saturated fat[1] and coconut oil,[2] neither of which are nearly as bad as trans-fat. Oh, and dishonest attacks against quorn,[3] mentioned above. They've also been criticized from the left for attacking stevia, for example. Cool Hand Luke 18:17, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Okay - to my knowledge we haven't seen any reliable sources proposed that show legitimate criticism of the group as being of due weight. The defensive swipes at them from affected industries and the astroturf industry group are dubious as it is, as far as being of any weight. Per WP:CRIT there would also have to be some reason to organize it as criticism, rather than working it into the discussion of their various initiatives. The way it's written for the industry groups and CCF there is, but it's not obvious that's the best organization. - Wikidemon (talk) 05:30, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I just linked one: a series of articles on their attacks on quorn. Cool Hand Luke 15:38, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Sometimes people really need to take a deep breath and relax for a moment, and then look at the issue directly. If people actually take the time to read CSPI's Nutrition Action Newsletter itself rather than discussions about it, they will find it is not fire-breathing attack advocacy. For example, Cool Hand Luke says CSPI "attacked" stevia (a non-sugar, alkaloid-based sweetener)... in fact they did not. CSPI stated in Nutrition Action Newsletter that very little objective information is known about stevia on human health (separate from anecdotal information) and they conceded that stevia may be innocuous, but given a very rapid push by large food companies quickly adopt this alternative sweetner on a large scale they would petition the FDA to slow down the roll out of this sweetner as an ingredient in consumer products (this is separate from buying a bottle of stevia powder) until there is more data provided by the biomedical community or the companies themselves. That position and action can be labeled overcautious but it is hardly an "attack". I used this example since others brought it up, but it pretty much exemplifes a lot of the hysterical talk that accompanies CSPI. Chill people. Lapabc (talk) 13:54, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I would like to chime in with my response to Cool Hand Luke's comments as well. Cool Hand Luke: please take a look at the talk page archives. You will see that the "Criticisms" section was hotly contested for years, whipsawing back and forth from anti-CSPI screed and total elimination of any criticisms whatsoever, before reaching more-or-less its current form in 2008. As is, it has been quite stable for almost 4 years. I think that reflects the fact that a good degree of balance was finally introduced at that point. I personally could not disagree more that it reads "promotional throughout" in its present form. Criticism from the Wall Street Journal that CSPI itself had driven the adoption of the very trans fats it now seeks to eliminate... is the Wall Street Journal supposed to be the "corporate evil-doer" in this scenario? Criticism from one of their own former science directors they "clearly misunderstand the science involved" in one of their position papers? This is what balanced criticism does look like already. --Rnickel (talk) 01:06, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

This entry is a biased joke. Also, I couldn't care less what their Nutrition Action Newsletter contains, what matters is their public actions. The "School Foods" section is a particularly blatant example of the bias that pervades this "entry". In that section, no mention is made of the widespread, well-documented dislike of the new standards by actual students and parents, the resultant decline in students eating school lunches, a result that has been traced DIRECTLY to the law, or the attempts made by multiple schools and local governments to bypass the law, owing to the law's unpopularity. As with the rest of this ludicrous entry, in the "School Foods" section, one is erroneously led to believe that, aside from "some members of Congress"(with some being used as a euphemism for "dozens"), CSPI's only opponents are paid stooges of the fast food and restaurant industries. Also, not a SINGLE WORD is devoted to the fact 26 states have banned the ridiculous "people who got fat had no choice but to eat McDonald's" lawsuits pushed by the CSPI, nor is any mention made of the fact that EVERY single lawsuit targeting fast food restaurants supported by this organization has been won by those being sued. Their litigation "record" should be mentioned, particularly when it is as atrocious at is. And in an example of a classic bias that never dies, politicians and organizations who oppose CSPI are labelled "libertarian-leaning" or "libertarian", yet no similar label is attached to CSPI or those who support CSPI; CSPI should be labelled "nanny state-leaning" out of basic fairness. Given the history of this entry, I won't be wasting my time adding this stuff myself.72.49.235.222 (talk) 23:00, 13 March 2016 (UTC)

It's a tough problem because keeping NPOV is hard. CSPI looks like a giant pseudoscience political group, largely because it is; however, picking them apart violates NOR, and possibly NPOV. Modern science shows salt is not harmful in relatively-high quantities (like, under 6,000mg/day sodium), low-fat diets reduce HDL and increase heart disease and diabeetus risk, and saturated fat doesn't strongly link to heart disease; yet these are the things CSPI attacks. They have an ongoing assault on food dyes because of a study they pushed the FDA into, concluding that food dyes cause behavioral problems in children and are harmful and toxic; that particular study has been the subject of further studies citing it as a fantastic example of bad science. The long and short of it is the CSPI has a political agenda based on a particular ideal of natural, healthy food, rather than scientific progress in understanding what is and is not harmful. Not much has been reported about this in any way which allows Wikipedia to communicate this in the article without taking its own non-neutral political stance. That's actually particularly interesting, because it means control of public response to your public activities means control over Wikipedia's coverage of your organization and, thus, can tend to slant your Wikipedia page to look like an endorsement. --John Moser (talk) 22:28, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Pulling out the good from 98.230.108.226's changes[edit]

Talking about the 3600 characters that 98.230.108.226 has been trying to add to the Criticisms section:

  1. I agree with Wikidemon that, as written, the changes were not usable for a number of reasons: copyvio, tone, POV, WP:UNDUE, etc.
  2. That said, the new sources identified by 98.230.108.226 were very good-- a big expansion on one WSJ source we had linking CSPI to the creation of the trans fat problem in the first place.
  3. Consequently, I've added some much more explicit language about CSPI's causal role in the problem, using the two new sources.
  4. 98.230.108.226: I wasn't able to use your Mary Enig quote since it wasn't sourced; however, if you will bring me a source on that one, I will add her quote as well.

Cheers, --Rnickel (talk) 02:33, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the effort. I wanted to avoid a copyvio but I didn't have the energy to get past that. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:54, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Removal of reference to the movie "Fat Head"[edit]

I removed the mention of the movie "Fat Head" for several main reasons:

  1. The item was unreferenced, and doing a search myself, I couldn't find any WP:RS sources that saw fit to mention Jacobson in the context of their coverage of the movie. (There were only a handful that even covered the movie at all, and they all focused on its criticism of Morgan Spurlock and Supersize Me.)
  2. This criticism section is already pushing the limits of WP:UNDUE. There it states: "Note that undue weight can be given in several ways, including, but not limited to, depth of detail, quantity of text... Keep in mind that, in determining proper weight, we consider a viewpoint's prevalence in reliable sources, not its prevalence among Wikipedia editors or the general public." Nearly half of the article's prose text is already devoted to the criticism section; yet it is nowhere near the case that half of all mentions of CSPI in reliable sources are critical of the organization.
  3. The section's purpose is to fairly offer a representative cross-section of main points made by the organization's critics; it is not an indiscriminate list of every possible negative thing said about CSPI by anybody ever. At this point, it is hard to make the value proposition for any more "piling on" of "so and so also said something bad about them", unless it contributes something truly new. By these lights, the mention of "Fat Head" did not really add anything to the article.
  4. Per WP:CRIT, even having a separate section within the article dedicated only to criticisms is really non-ideal. This seems clearly to me to be a case where a topic-by-topic approach would serve the reader better. Given that, to me, the next step for this criticism section would be to break it up and assimilate its content into the rest of the article... another reason why further expansion of the section at this point seems to me to be contra-indicated.

--Rnickel (talk) 19:17, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

New content moved from main page pending sourcing[edit]

I've removed the following content just added by an IP editor, and restored a brief section that was removed in the process.[4] Although well written and seemingly accurate, this is completely unsourced - it needs reliable third party sources for verification purposes. As such, it will hurt the article progress and become something of a dead end unless we use adequate citations. I might try some pieces of this myself, but I can use some help. Another comment, the tone is slightly laudatory. Not so much as to be WP:ADVERT or PR-speak, just a little shy of the neutral authoritative voice of an encyclopedia. Finally, anytime we get a big chunk of text from an unknown editor, best to check for WP:COPYVIO. I spot checked and google didn't recognize it, but probably bears a few more checks. Thanks, - Wikidemon (talk) 21:43, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

School Foods[edit]

CSPI has worked since the 1970s to improve the nutritionally quality of school meals and remove soda and unhealthy foods from school vending machines, snack bars, and a la carte lines. Despite pushback from the soda and snack food industries, CSPI successfully worked with a number of local school districts and states to pass policies in the early 2000s to restrict the sale of soda and other unhealthy snack foods in schools. In 2004, CSPI worked with members of the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity (NANA) (a CSPI-led coalition) to include a provision in the Child Nutrition and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Reauthorization Act to ensure all local school districts develop a nutrition and physical activity wellness policy by 2006.

In 2010, CSPI and NANA led the successful effort to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, a landmark law to improve child nutrition programs. The law (enacted 12/13/10) authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update the nutrition standards for snacks and beverages sold in schools through vending machines, a la carte lines, school stores, fundraisers, and other school venues. CSPI worked with NANA to mobilize support for the updated nutrition standards and urge the USDA to adopt strong final school nutrition standards (released in June 2013). Despite opposition from some members of Congress and the potato and pizza industries (which lobbied for unlimited french fries and pizza as a vegetable in school meals) CSPI and NANA’s efforts also resulted in strong nutrition standards for school lunches.

Menu Labeling[edit]

One of CSPI’s top goals has been to ensure that consumers have reliable information about what they eat and drink. Since the early 2000s, CSPI has worked with policymakers and advocates in Philadelphia, New York City, California, and numerous other jurisdictions to pass laws to list calories on menus and menu boards. In addition to making calorie information available to consumers, a key benefit of menu labeling has been the reformulation of existing food items and the introduction of nutritionally improved items in many chain restaurants.

In 2010, CSPI successfully lobbied for a provision, which was passed as part of the health care reform law, to require calorie labeling on menus at chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments nationwide. The Food and Drug Administration proposed regulations for menu labeling in 2011, and CSPI has since worked to continue to mobilize support for national menu labeling, diffuse opposition from Congress and special interests, and encourage the FDA to strengthen the final regulations and release them in a timely manner. Menu labeling is expected to be implemented nationally in 2014.

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