Margo Wootan
Key Player

Director of Nutrition Policy, Center for Science in the Public InterestMargo Wootan is Director of Nutrition Policy at the puritanical Center for Science in the Public Interest. She paints herself as knight in shining armor, standing up to evil food companies on behalf of defenseless consumers. “We’re trying to help people do what they already want to do,” she says.

Yet Wootan endorses “Twinkie taxes” that she hopes will force consumers to stop buying the foods she disapproves of. “Relying solely on personal responsibility,” Wootan argues, “is too low a dose of treatment to cure” obesity. Wootan is a prominent supporter of obesity lawsuits, noting that “we’re looking at tobacco as a model.”

Wootan seeks to control the information that reaches consumers for the purpose of promoting her favored foods. She has taken center stage in the push for menu labeling requirements, yet she attacked an ad campaign — based on a USDA recommendation — to encourage milk consumption for stronger bones, arguing that it would confuse hapless consumers.