Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Center for Science in the Public Interest

  • Washington, DC
  • www.cspinet.org

Mission Statement

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.

Main Programs

  1. Nutrition Policy
  2. Food Safety
  3. Deceptive Food Labeling & Advertising
  4. Public Education/Nutrition Action Healthletter
  5. Food Day
  6. Health Promotion Policy

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

ruling year

1971

chief executive

Dr. Michael F. Jacobson

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

Nutrition, Health, Advocacy, Food, Public, Science, Antibiotics, Consumer, Exercise, Supplements, Dyes, Soda

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

23-7122879

Also Known As

CSPI

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

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.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Impact statement

Since 1971, CSPI has served as an independent and effective food industry watchdog and public health advocate. CSPI lead the efforts to win passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which doubled the amount of fruits and vegetables served in schools, as well as the Food Safety Modernization Act, in 2011, which catalyzed sweeping changes to food safety laws. CSPI also boasts the passage of laws that require the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods, nutrition information on chain restaurant menus, and define the term “organic” on its long list of accomplishments. Each year, nearly 1 million subscribers to CSPI's Nutrition Action Healthletter receive current, science-based advice to improve diet and health.

CSPI's goals for the next few years:  Persuade the Food and Drug Administration to require reduction of sodium in packaged and processed foods; reduce junk food marketing to kids; eliminate artificial dyes from the food supply; change the public's perception of soda and other sugary drinks; and, curb false and misleading food advertising and labeling.

Programs

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

Self-reported by organization

Program 1

Nutrition Policy

CSPI is leading efforts to improve school food nationally and reduce the amount of junk food advertising aimed at kids. CSPI is also working to improve food and beverage options in government buildings and other work spaces.

Category

None

Budget

$534,467.00

Population Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

None

Program 2

Food Safety

Consumers are vulnerable to a variety of pathogens because of tainted meat and produce in the food supply. CSPI challenges companies to ensure that our food is safe, and advocates for strong government oversight of food safety practices. Our staff is also working hard to eliminate the use of artificial dyes from the food supply, as many are are carcinogenic and can exacerbate symptoms of ADHD in children.

Category

None

Budget

$694,008.00

Population Served

Adults

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Program 3

Deceptive Food Labeling & Advertising

Food labels play an important role is safeguarding consumers from obesity and other diet-related diseases. That’s why CSPI works hard to ensure that foods and dietary supplements are advertised and labeled honestly.

Category

None

Budget

$747,342.00

Population Served

Adults

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Program 4

Public Education/Nutrition Action Healthletter

The Nutrition Action Healthletter, published by CSPI, is the largest-circulation, most-read health newsletter in North America.  Since 1974, the award-winning Healthletter, published 10 times a year, has been CSPI's major means of providing consumers and journalists with the latest information on food safety, nutrition, and other health issues.  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, as implied by its name, 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 pamphlets, books, and brochures on various health topics, and provides health information on its web site:  www.nutritionaction.com

Category

None

Budget

$5,663,805.00

Population Served

Adults

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

None

Program 5

Food Day

The typical American diet is contributing to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the ballooning cost of healthcare. Food Day is a nationwide celebration that aims to improve people’s diets and celebrate real food. In 2013, Food Day put special focus on encouraging kids to cook and learn more about food.

Category

None

Budget

$489,117.00

Population Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

None

Program 6

Health Promotion Policy

CSPI is working to promote public health policies that reduce the amount of sodium and trans fat in the food supply, as well as reduce the consumption of sugary drinks.

Category

Cardiovascular Diseases

Budget

Population Served

Adults

Aging/Elderly/Senior Citizens

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Charting Impact

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

Self-reported by organization

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    In general, CSPI's three main goals are:

    1. To provide useful, objective information to the public and policymakers and to conduct research on food, sugary beverages, health, and other issues related to science and technology;
    2. To represent the citizen's interests before regulatory, judicial and legislative bodies on food, sugary beverages, health, and other issues; and
    3. To ensure that science and technology are used for the public good and to encourage scientists to engage in public-interest activities.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Not available.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Not available.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Not available.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.

service areas

International

Self-reported by organization

Social Media

@cspinet

@CSPI

@center-for-science-in-the-public-interest

@CSPITV

@cspinutrition/

Funding Needs

Food Day, October 24, 2011, is a grassroots movement made up of individuals and organizations passionate about promoting a healthy, sustainable, and just food system.  Go to www.FoodDay.org(http://www.FoodDay.org)

Videos

External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

CENTER FOR SCIENCE IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

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

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2012
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Knowledge Base Search
Need the ability to download nonprofit data and more advanced search options? Consider a Premium or Pro Search subscription.

CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Dr. Michael F. Jacobson

BIO

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., is CSPI's Co-founder and Executive Director. After earning a doctorate in microbiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he came to Washington, D.C. to do research on food additives. His interest in nutrition and food safety -- and his career as a consumer advocate -- had begun. Since CSPI's creation in 1971, Dr. Jacobson has worked diligently to bring Americans safer, more nutritious food.

STATEMENT FROM THE CEO

"Over the past 43 years, the CSPI staff and I have been called many things – from “food police” on the one hand to “the nation’s leading watchdog group for nutrition and health.” But whether folks are calling us names or singing our praises, we get their attention and we spur needed changes.

CSPI has built a national reputation for scientific honesty and impeccable credibility among the media, policy makers, and the general public. That has enabled CSPI to reach millions of consumers with lifesaving information on how to make safer, healthier food choices and to build citizen power to prod our government to stand up to the strong-arm tactics of industry.

In a society where a company may spend $25 million to advertise a single candy bar, it has been very gratifying to me to see how a small organization like CSPI has been able to leverage its modest resources to improve the lives of millions of people and to alter the practices of multi-billion-dollar corporations.

Today, CSPI has a full-time staff of 60, including several in Canada, and an annual budget of $20 million. And CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter brings the latest nutrition and health news and advice to more than 900,000 members, subscribers, national policymakers, and key journalists.

We have much work to do: More than half of American adults are overweight or obese. Tens of millions of people experience food poisoning each year, and thousands die. Meanwhile, antibiotics are losing their effectiveness and biotechnology is promising new benefits -- and risks.

Government and industry too often turn a blind eye to the problems that they have created or tolerated. CSPI will continue to correct that and to work for healthier people and a cleaner environment by educating consumers, improving corporate practices, and promoting enlightened government policies – all through the use of science in the public interest."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Tom Gegax

Tom Gegax Seminars

Term: Oct 2012 -

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & 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?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?