The Center for Science in the Public Interest has annoyed and offended a large and varied collection of scientists,
consumers, editorial writers, and food industry executives over the years. Here are some highlights:
"The low-fat obsession by the center [CSPI] and the government reflects 'a paternalistic idea that the public
is not smart enough to distinguish between types of fat. I think that we should tell people the facts and give
them options. Fat in the diet, fat in the body -- it's not the same thing.'"
- Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, in the Los Angeles Times
"[W]e take issue with their sensational and alarmist tone. 'The Facts About Olestra,' with its blacklist of brand names,
'anal leakage' humor, and numerous CSPI press releases seemed to be more of a vendetta than an objective presentation
of the facts. And if you are to avoid as many processed foods and additives as they advise, what else is left to eat?"
- The Tufts University Nutrition Navigator, 1998
"We have become a nation of hypocritical hypochondriacs and the leader of the hyp-hyp pack is a man named Michael
F. Jacobson... One of these days Jacobson is going to determine that living is the major cause of death and should be
banned, or at least carefully monitored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest."
- Columnist Merle Ellis in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 8, 1995
"There's a political point of view here, an economic view based on the idea that people are children and have
to be protected by Big Brother or Big Nanny from the awful free-market predators.... That's what drives these people
- a desire for control of other people's lives."
- Robert Schoffner, Washingtonian magazine Food and Wine Editor, May 1998
"Some of it is good, but sometimes they are alarmists. I don't want the government or some group telling me what
I should eat or drink. We have a choice... When we start getting regulations, the responsibility is taken away from
- Clinical dietitian Susan Hulett in the Washington Times, December 27, 1998
"[CSPI]...the nation's mirthless nanny about food and drink, is alarmed by the amount of
soft drinks consumed by youngsters."
- Columbus Dispatch Editorial, October 30, 1998
"Like some evangelical Jack Spratt, Michael F. Jacobson seems to have made it his mission in life to warn society of
the dangers of eating -- and becoming -- fat... The success of this apparently well-intentioned crusade many be giving
rise to other, less obvious dangers to our collective health -- those of desensitization, oversimplification and omission."
- Linda Bonvie and Bill Bonvie, in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 11, 1995
"Mike Jacobson's fringe thinking has been around for a decade, and we've come to take him with a grain of salt. If it
were up to him, every tavern would be replaced by a carrot-juice bar."
- Anheuser-Busch's Francine Katz in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1, 1995
"... the so-called Center for Science in the Public Interest -- some bunch in Washington that's probably staffed by
the kind of health food fanatics who look like they're on a hunger strike. A few years ago, they were all aghast over
Chinese food, popcorn and burgers. Now their boss, one Michael F. Jacobson, has the seat of his pants in a wad over
- Columnist Neil Cote in the Boston Herald, November 14, 1998
"Michael Jacobson has a mission in life: to take the joy out of America's favorite munchies, from burgers to
pasta to popcorn."
- The Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1994
"We don't need nutrition nannies out there scolding us over every bit of joy we have in life... the benefits
gained through negative publicity are not worth 'scaring the daylights' out of unsuspecting consumers..."
- Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, epidemiologist and president of the American Council on Science and Health,
in the Los Angeles Times, May 24, 1994