They Took On the Food Giants — and Won

Saying the they were up against the wall would have been an understatement. In a decades long battle with the multi-billion dollar food industry, a doctor and a professor defied all odds in the battle for healthy food. That doctor is Dr. Michael Jacobson, who in 1971 founded the non-profit, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The goal of dr. Jacobson was to hold the food industry accountable for what he perceived to be unhealthy products and at the very least, inform the public of what their food was made of.

Over the next 40+ years, the CSPI has fought to have ingredients, unhealthy fats and sugars, and allergy warnings placed on food labels. The CSPI felt that the marketing practices of food manufacturers were taking advantage of the lack of public knowledge, so they fought them in court. They took on the beverage industry when it became apparent that it was nearly single-handedly responsible for obesity and diabetes, especially among children. They did all of this while working out of a small office in Washington, D.C., and with just a modest salary. Without the CSPI, there is no telling where the United States might be in regards to truth-in-nutrition.

Recently, Dr. Jacobson stepped down from his position at CSPI in order to enjoy retirement. We all owe this man, and all the folks at CSPI, a huge debt of gratitude for the foresight to fight for our health as a country.