Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) fired back against the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) latest over-the-top stunt to petition the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine “safe limits” for corn, cane and beet sugar added to soft drinks. CSPI is misguidedly seeking to revoke the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) status for sodas’ added sweeteners. In a release today, the self-proclaimed “food cops” laughably compared soda to a “bioweapon” that is “unsafe for regular human consumption.”

Blaming the sugar in soda as the main culprit for obesity and weight-related ailments is absurdly misguided. Study after study demonstrates that soda or any specific food or beverage is not a unique contributor to obesity. In fact, federal government data shows that soft drinks only provide seven percent of a person’s daily calories. Weight gain is a function of simple mathematics: calories “in” (food) exceed calories “out” (exercise). Of course, food scolds like CSPI would rather concentrate their policy making efforts largely on only one side of the equation (calories in).

“It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in Nutrition to realize that the added sugar in soda is perfectly safe,” said J. Justin Wilson, CCF’s Senior Research Analyst. “CSPI’s latest proposal stands in stark contrast to decades of scientific research, and fundamentally undermines the very definition of food safety the group has worked to establish.”

While CSPI would have you believe that obesity rates are skyrocketing in America, new studies would suggest otherwise. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that Americans are eating 3.5 percent fewer calories from added sugar today than they were in 2000, and have cut their sugar intake by six teaspoons per day. Similarly, the number of calories from sugar-sweetened beverages has declined. Those are voluntary changes that ordinary people have made without the intrusion of bureaucrats or public health zealots. Furthermore, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that the so called obesity “epidemic” appears to have leveled off.

“Comparing sugar to anthrax is like comparing a credible scientist to the Center for Science in the Public Interest,” continued Wilson. “Faced with years of failed attempts to tax, ban, or regulate various foods and beverages, CSPI has finally proven that its medical and policy pronouncements should come with a warning label reading, ‘Caution: CSPI’s advice is unsafe at any dose.’”