Center for Science in the Public Interest

Nonprofit publisher of Nutrition Action Healthletter

aka CSPI   |   Washington, DC   |  www.cspinet.org

Mission

CSPI is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.

Notes from the nonprofit

CSPI accepts no gifts from industry or government sources. It's support comes from the readers of Nutrition Action Healthletter and individuals interested in supporting CSPI as an industry and government watchdog. We also receive valuable funding from private foundations for nutrition and food safety campaigns.

Ruling year info

1971

President

Dr. Peter G. Lurie MD, MPH

Main address

1220 L Street NW Suite 300

Washington, DC 20005 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

23-7122879

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (K01)

Consumer Protection and Safety (W90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Poor diet is a top contributor to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases that account for 70 percent of all deaths in the United States and 75 percent of the nation’s $2 trillion annual medical-care costs.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Nutrition Policy

CSPI led the campaigns to ban trans fat, raise the nutrition standards for school foods, and require calorie counts on menu boards.
CSPI is leading multiple efforts to improve the food environment working both with policymakers and food industry leaders for healthier public property, supermarkets, work spaces, and federal nutrition programs.
Primary campaigns address sugary beverage consumption, high-sodium packaged and restaurant foods, and food marketing to children.

Population(s) Served

CSPI challenges companies to ensure that our food is safe from pathogens in the food supply and advocates for strong government oversight of food safety practices. CSPI's Chemical Cuisine is an authoritative rating of additives in foods. CSPI is focused on reforming the "Generally Recognized as Safe" regulatory loophole that allows industry to self-certify the safety of additives.

Population(s) Served

CSPI has stopped dozens of marketing deceptive claims. After winning the campaign to put Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, CSPI is promoting improvements based on the latest science, such as "added sugars" with a daily value and front-of-pack icons to give consumers the information they need to make healthy choices.

Population(s) Served

CSPI's award-winning Nutrition Action Healthletter, is the largest-circulation, most-read health newsletter in North America.  Ten issues a year provide consumers and journalists with the latest information on food safety, nutrition, and health.  For many readers, Nutrition Action is an indispensable guide to better nutrition and good health. It gives them reliable, science-based advice and product recommendations they can use every day. For others, Nutrition Action is a call to action. Over the years, Nutrition Action has initiated numerous petition campaigns and letter-writing efforts to food companies, legislators, and government officials. In addition, CSPI publishes numerous resources on its web site:  www.nutritionaction.com

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

FDA Commissioner presented the agency’s highest honor, the Harvey W. Wiley Special Citation 2007

U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Best Consumer Health Information Programs 1998

National Health Information Association

Commissioner's Special Citation 1996

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Clarion Award 1995

Women in Communications

Distinguished Achievement Award 1995

Education Press Association of America

CDC Foundation Hero Award 2010

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of deceptive marketing practices challenged

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Every year, CSPI challenges misleading labels and marketing of foods and beverages through advocacy, education, and the courts, creating a positive ripple effect on marketing practices industry-wide.

Policies passed or practices changed that reduce consumption of harmful foods or ingredients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CSPI wins public policies and changes corporate practices that influence consumers' choices in the food marketplace and improve dietary health across communities.

People reached through nutrition and food-safety education

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CSPI translates the latest nutrition and health science for consumers and shares them through the press, social media, and with more than half a million subscribers to Nutrition Action Healthletter.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

CSPI aims to improve the health of Americans and reduce the instances of diet related disease by promoting healthier diets, science-based public policies, and by creating a food marketplace that provides safe products and supports healthy choices by consumer that result in improved diet and health.

CSPI promotes science-based nutrition policies at the federal, state and local levels. CSPI works with a large and active network of advocates, partner organizations, and policymakers.

CSPI promotes corporate practices that encourage consumers to make healthy food choices and that remove unhealthy or dangerous ingredients. We do this through direct talks, advocacy campaigns and litigation.

CSPI employs advocacy campaigns and litigation to demand honesty and transparency in product labeling and marketing.

CSPI translates the latest science and provides hundreds of thousands of consumers with life-saving information to help them make informed dietary choices that result in improved health.

CSPI has nearly 50 years of experience and accomplishment, with an expert staff that includes scientists, attorneys, and public health advocates.

CSPI reaches millions of Americans daily through the press and Internet and ten times a year through our ad-free, award-winning Nutrition Action Healthletter.

CSPI’s digital presence helps consumers learn about our advocacy work and take direct action to influence public policy and food companies.

CSPI’s litigation team is effective in forcing companies to change deceptive and dishonest product labels and unfair marketing practices.

CSPI eliminated artificial trans fat from the American marketplace; removed soda and junk food from schools nationwide; reduced junk-food marketing to kids; reduced sodium in the food supply; secured Nutrition Facts labels on packaged foods; won calorie labeling at chain restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores; stopped dozens of deceptive labels & unfair marketing practices; obtained bans or limits on harmful additives; strengthened protections to prevent food-borne illness, and much more.
CSPI is playing a key role in shaping government policy and changing the practices of corporations. CSPI is launching new, innovative programs and campaigns that aim to eliminate harmful additives, preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics, reduce the ubiquity of soda, and warn consumers of excess sodium, counter undue industry influence on public policy, improve nutrition while strengthening SNAP; provide consumers latest science on how to choose safer, more healthful diets; and much more.

Financials

Center for Science in the Public Interest
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Center for Science in the Public Interest

Board of directors
as of 9/5/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Lisa Heinzerling, Esq.

Georgetown University Law Center

Term: 2017 - 2020

Michael Jacobson, PhD (Non-voting)

Center for Science in the Public Interest

James Sullivan, PhD

Co-founder, CSPI

Sushma Palmer, D.Sc.

Center for Communications, Health, and the Environment

Mark Ingram, CPA

Ingram CPA Review

Robin Caiola Sheekey

Development Professional

David Kessler, MD, PhD

University of California, San Francisco

Denise Elliott

Kiplinger

Lynn Silver, MD, MPH

Public Health Institute

Lisa Heinzerling

Georgetown University

William Corr

Waxman Strategies

Suzanne Hess

Librarian, Retired

Tom Gegax

Founder and Chairman Emeritus Tires Plus Stores

Peter Lurie, MD, MPH (Non-voting)

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes