Center for Science in the Public Interest

Nonprofit publisher of Nutrition Action Healthletter

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

Mission

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is America's food and health watchdog. CSPI envisions a healthy population with reduced impact and burden of preventable diseases and an equitable food system that makes healthy, sustainable food accessible to all. CSPI values independence, scientific rigor, and transparency.

Notes from the nonprofit

CSPI accepts no grants from industry or government sources. Its support comes from the readers of its magazine Nutrition Action 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
Adults
Children and youth

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
Adults
Children and youth

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
Adults
Children and youth

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
Adults

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
Population(s) Served

Adults

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
Population(s) Served

Adults

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 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.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    CSPI serves people in communities across the U.S. Through our campaigns, we engage with community-based organizations seeking improvements in their food environments. We regularly survey and solicit input from advocates in the field.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, we host convenings of stakeholders; we also poll communities,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To measure our progress., To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In our campaign to improve the nutrition component of SNAP, we now also advocate to expand access to federal programs after helpful feedback from SNAP recipients and other local stakeholders.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    CSPI works to listen to community-based advocates and invites them to serve on advisory committees for our campaigns.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently,

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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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Center for Science in the Public Interest

Board of directors
as of 11/20/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Robin Caiola

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

Phyllis Lantos, SM

NewYork-Presbyterian

Robin Caiola Sheekey

Development Professional

Mary Bassett, MD

FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University

Denise Elliott

Kiplinger

Lynn Silver, MD, MPH

Public Health Institute

Michael Nutter

Columbia University

William Corr

Waxman Strategies

Suzanne Hess

Librarian, Retired

Giridhar Mallya, MD, MSHP

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Peter Lurie, MD, MPH (Non-voting)

Center for Science in the Public Interest

Jane Schmitz, PhD

From Now On Fund

William Schultz

Zuckerman Spaeder

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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data