GMA Hypes Food Scare with Latest Doom-and-Gloom CSPI Study

If you thought figuring out what to eat was difficult before, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has released a new study called “The Ten Riskiest Foods,” which slams four of the five food groups.

On Oct. 6 “Good Morning America’s” Sharyn Alfonsi devoted an entire segment to the doom-and-gloom study. But of course she conveniently forgot to mention that CSPI is a radical left-wing kill-joy consumer group that has attacked everything from remote controls to washing machines to Chinese food to casual dining.

The study was discussed in relation to a recent New York Times headline about the 22-year-old girl Stephanie Smith who was paralyzed apparently from E. coli in a frozen hamburger.

The study, Alfonsi said, “puts the spotlight on foods responsible for the most food-borne illnesses over the last twenty years.” The “foods” condemned are as broad as “berries,” “leafy greens,” and “sprouts.” These foods, Alfonsi warned, are “responsible for illnesses ranging from an upset stomach, to death, to disability.”

The segment ended with a video of Smith in a wheelchair and Alfonsi voicing over, “Smith says she’s proof that a single meal – a single ingredient – can change your life.”

GMA’s Diane Sawyer kept the food scare going, chiming  in, “And again [Smith] seems to have no prior health problems. This can just strike and you don’t know who’s going to get the most severe reaction.”

The GMA segment failed to mention that careless consumers, not just food industries, can often be the culprits of food-borne illnesses. It also didn’t discuss the complaints about the validity of CSPI studies nor allow the accused food industries to defend themselves.

CNN, on the other hand, reported on the story, and did two out of the three things that GMA ignored. CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen reported:

We have reached out to every – all of these ten industries and asked them for some responses. And so here are two of them … The National Fishery folks, who represent the people who put fish on our plates, says, “CSPI fails to properly highlight the fact that it is not talking about canned tuna. Consumers should take this report with a grain of salt … “ And also we got a response for the Produce Marketing Association, those are the folks who make leafy greens: “It is never in the consumers best interest to scare them away from the very foods that we should all be eating more of … “

And I think it’s important to point out that they – these food folks pointed out that there are different ways to crunch numbers. And so you can look at – you can have just one outbreak and have lots of illnesses. And that’s different than having lots of illnesses and many outbreaks. And so I think that’s important to keep that in mind.

Cohen finished off the segment by adding, “Some of these cases of food-borne illnesses were preventable. People could have prevented them in their own kitchen, not all, but some of them.”


Ironically, 5 of the 10 “risky foods” CSPI booed were also on the organization’s list of “10 Super Foods for Better Health.”