Washington, DC – Today, the self-described “food police” at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) will file suit against the KFC restaurant chain. The class-action lawsuit will seek to end the restaurant’s use of cooking oils containing trans fat. Though it may be CSPI’s most aggressive action on the trans fat issue, it’s certainly not the group’s first.
Throughout the 1980’s CSPI demanded that restaurants end their use of beef fat and palm oil to fry foods. Instead, CSPI endorsed the idea that restaurants switch to partially hydrogenated oils, which naturally contain higher trans fat levels. CSPI defended trans fats in its newsletter saying, “all told, the charges against trans fat just don’t stand up.” Now, incredibly, CSPI has completely reversed course.
Center for Consumer Freedom research analyst J. Justin Wilson said: “It’s galling that the group largely responsible for harassing restaurants into switching to trans fats, would now sue those companies for bowing to its demands, especially when the science is still largely out on the subject. It’s just further evidence that CSPI has gone completely lawsuit happy.”
This lawsuit is just part of CSPI’s broader plan to use litigation to restrict food choices and shake down food companies. CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson recently said, “We used to file all sorts of complaints with the government. Sometimes we’d get a response, but usually nothing happened. Now, when we have told companies that we’re going to sue them, they show up in our office the next week.”
Wilson continued, “This is a press conference lawsuit. CSPI and its trial lawyer partners want a big splash in the media for a case that likely won’t ever see the inside of a courtroom. Any judge unfortunate enough to be burdened with this court-clogging sham should have the good sense to throw CSPI out of court.”
The Center for Consumer Freedom is available to discuss CSPI’s trans fat suit. For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Andrew Porter at 202.463.7112.