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Behind the scenes.

If you're like many readers, you count on each issue of Nutrition Action for articles that can protect your health. But you may not realize how the publication is tied to the rest of our work at the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Here's an example:

In April 2001, associate nutritionist David Schardt wrote an article about the constant--and sometimes lethal--threat that food allergies pose to millions of Americans. He uncovered an unpublished FDA study showing that peanuts and other allergens were lurking in foods that supposedly didn't contain them. And he reported that the law doesn't require food labels to disclose all known allergens. Most other journalists' work would have stopped there.

But at CSPI, we went further. David worked with staff attorney Benjamin Cohen to help secure passage of a bill introduced by Sen. Edward Kennedy (Dem.-Mass.) and Rep. Nita Lowey (Dem.-N.Y.) that required food labels to identify common food allergens--including those hidden in "flavors"--using plain English words like "milk" (instead of "casein").

In July, Congress passed the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. To the millions who never know when a single bite can mean a trip to the emergency room or worse, the new law could be a life-saver.

Among CSPI's other victories: we helped win passage of the historic Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, which put "Nutrition Facts" on nearly all food labels; we championed the law that defined "organic" food; we led the fight for mandatory microbial testing for meat and poultry; and we've stopped scores of deceptive labels and advertising campaigns.

This year, CSPI has been working to:

* eliminate partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (with their trans fat) from the food supply;

* get junk food out of schools;

* keep germs and unsafe additives out of our food;

* require nutrition facts on menu boards at chain restaurants and on alcoholic beverages;

* stop the reckless use of precious antibiotics in animal farming; and

* expose the sometimes-corrupting influence of industry on science and health and environmental policies.

Our work wouldn't be possible without you. Recently, we launched the CSPI Estate Planning Education Series--available to all subscribers free of charge--which shows you how to create a tax-efficient estate plan. (If you participate, you're not obligated to include CSPI in your plan.) To learn more, please contact development director Penn Staples at (202) 777-8382 or pstaples@cspinet.org.

Thanks again for your ongoing support. Your participation--whether it's subscribing, contributing, or just sending us a "thanks for waging the good fight" e-mail every once in a while--is the lifeblood of all we do.

Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Center for Science in the Public Interest
COPYRIGHT 2004 Center for Science in the Public Interest
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:More on the Web!www.cspinet.org; Center for Science in the Public Interest
Author:Jacobson, Michael F.
Publication:Nutrition Action Healthletter
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2004
Words:446
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