Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

Slow Progress? We'll Take It!

Magazine article Nutrition Action Healthletter

Slow Progress? We'll Take It!

Article excerpt

When the food industry digs in, it can take years, or decades, to get things done. But progress is occurring, and I'm proud that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (Nutrition Action's publisher) has been part of it. Some examples:

* Soda pop. In the 1980s and '90s, as consumption soared, I thought there might be no limit to how much soda Americans could drink.

In 1998, CSPI published "Liquid Candy," our initial blast at the soda monster. Since then, we have called on the Food and Drug Administration to require warning notices on sodas and to limit the sugar content of sugar drinks. (The FDA hasn't responded to either request.)

We also supported taxes on soft drinks and produced some hard-hitting videos taking on Big Soda. (See,, and

The good news: The industry is losing (see Nov. cover story). Per-capita consumption of carbonated soda has dropped by 25 percent since 1998, and Pepsi has dropped by an astounding 50 percent.

(Big Soda is responding by spending billions to promote pop in poor countries. Look for a CSPI report on that topic shortly.)

* Antibiotics. In 1977, the FDA commissioner wanted to ban certain antibiotics that were used on "factory farms." The FDA feared that the profligate use of those drugs--our 1998 report called them the "Crown Jewels of Medicine"--would foster untreatable infections from antibiotic-resistant bacteria. …

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