CSPI pushes for policies to keep our food supply free of dangerous pathogens, fight antibiotic resistance in the food chain, control and label allergens, and curb the use of synthetic dyes and poorly tested additives.
CSPI supports policies aimed at keeping our food supply free of dangerous pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. We led the fight for national legislation that promises safer produce, and whole and processed foods that are regulated by FDA. Now CSPI is working to bring the same modernizing concepts to the USDA’s oversight of meat and poultry safety.
Antibiotics are part of the bedrock of modern medicine, but overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture has led to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in food animals. As a result, foodborne illnesses in people are becoming harder to treat. CSPI has called on USDA and FDA to better protect consumers by making it illegal to sell meat and poultry contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, and prohibit the non-therapeutic use of medically important antibiotics in food animals. Read more.
CSPI rates the safety of the most commonly used food additives (see Chemical Cuisine) and lobbies to reform the way food additives are approved as Generally Recognized as Safe, or GRAS, for use in food. We monitor the science on artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and acesulfame-potassium.
Caffeine is our most popular drug and the only one widely added to the food supply. CSPI monitors the levels of caffeine in coffee, teas, colas, and other foods, and has pushed for better labeling. CSPI also urged the FDA to ban the retail sale of dangerous concentrated bulk caffeine, which FDA ultimately declared illegal.
CSPI has been a leader in national efforts to require clear allergen labeling and eliminate unnecessary allergens in foods. We successfully petitioned to add sesame to the list of allergens that food manufacturers must disclose. CSPI also advocates for the FDA to develop an evidence-based process to regularly update the list of priority allergens.