Donate |

From our president: Food fights

Consumer Reports magazine: June 2013

Since our first issue in 1936, when we investigated bacteria in milk, we’ve helped expose food hazards that can sicken and kill. The dangers today may be different but they are no less critical, and the U.S. government still fails to fully ensure the safety of our food.

Ninety-eight percent of imported food isn’t inspected; pathogens such as salmonella are still a problem; potential carcinogens like arsenic and pesticides remain factors in the food supply; and each year one out of six people in the U.S. get a foodborne illness.

Consumer Reports has a unique ability to identify safety hazards, quantify them with testing, and fight for solutions through regulation and marketplace pressure. Today, for example, the government requires screening for campylobacter in chicken after our tests of broilers repeatedly found that harmful pathogen.

Sustainable solutions. To expand our efforts, last summer we launched the Consumer Reports Food Safety and Sustainability Center. Already our work on food labeling and on arsenic in foods has prompted government action.

The center’s expanded testing program lets us work for systemic ways to change practices that create food-safety problems. For example, our investigation of ground turkey found that turkeys raised without antibiotics contained significantly less antibiotic-resistant bacteria than conventional turkey.

We’re fighting the practice of routinely feeding antibiotics to animals, whether to promote growth or because they’re kept in crowded operations rather than cleaner, safer systems. The resulting “superbugs” can end up in the meat you and I eat and make it more difficult to treat infections.

The center is supported by grants and individuals, and we hope you’ll join them. A generous donor will match your tax-deductible gift made by June 30. Please send a check to Consumer Reports Foundation,101 Truman Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703, noting “Food Safety” in the check’s memo. Or donate at Thank you.

Jim Guest

Editor's Note: This monthly letter to subscribers from Consumer Reports President Jim Guest highlights the critical consumer issues behind our current reports. See archived letters.

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters!
Choose from safety, health, cars, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Latest From Consumer Reports

5 steps to protect your smart phone from theft or loss Also learn what to do when your phone goes missing and when you get it back.
50-year flashback: 1965 Ford Mustang started a legacy Will the 2015 pony car be as memorable as the original Mustang?
5 ways to unclutter and clean up your home If you've procrastinated this spring, try these organizing and cleaning tips.
Get the best deal on the new Samsung Galaxy S 5 The lowest up-front price could cost you more in the long run.
Best appliances: Top-rated washer-and-dryer pairs These laundry duos cleaned up in our latest lab tests.
On the road: 10 best vehicles for family vacations When you're traveling with a crowd, comfort is key for an enjoyable trip.


and safety with
subscribers and fans

Follow us on:


Cars New Car Price Report
Find out what the dealers don't want you to know! Get dealer pricing information on a new car with the New Car Price Report.

Order Your Report


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more