The CSPI’s Petition

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest, an independent research/advocacy group for health made a petition to the FDA in February of this year to ensure the safe use of added sugars. It was made on the grounds that the FDA had pledged back in 1982 and 1988 that they would reassess the safety of sweetners if consumption increased or there was sufficient science to back up that ingredients like HFCS or sucrose were a public health hazard. Thus because we now know that obviously, sugar has become a major health issue, the CSPI could make their petition more credible.

The petition is the embodiment of what I think needs to be done in Washington, and what first steps policywise America can take. In other words, I approve (not that my own personal approval matters too much to politicians)

The petition outlined its actions requested:

1. the FDA initiate a rule-making proceeding to ensure that the content of sucrose and HFCS in beverages is limited to safe levels consistent with authoritative recommendations.

2. With respect to sucrose, HFCS, and other added sugars (GRAS or otherwise), FDA:

• Revise the “Sugars” line on Nutrition Facts labels to address “added sugars”;
• Set targets for lower levels of added sugars in foods (apart from soft drinks and
other beverages) that provide significant amounts of sugar to the general
population or population sub-groups;
• Conduct a public education campaign to encourage consumers to consume less
added sugars; and
• Work with the food industry and interested federal, state, and local agencies to
encourage reduced use and consumption of added sugars—including by
encouraging (1)limits on the sale of over-sized beverages containing added
sugars in restaurants and from vending machines and (2) the development of
means of reducing the use of added sugars.

Of course, (I hate to be negative) most of these requests will not be granted. However, I would love to continue to support the cause in any way I can. I was hoping to get Austin Health Department’s support for the petition, or maybe use a version of this petition (with the CSPI’s support) in front of the Texas legislature.

The full petition can be read here ( I definitely encourage everyone to at least skim through it, and spread the word!!): http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/sugar_petition_2-12-13_final.pdf

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