National Consumers League

Consumer group welcomes ‘Food Scores’ rating tool

October 28, 2014

Contact: Ben Klein, National Consumers League,, (202) 835-3323

Washington, DC- Today the National Consumers League (NCL) commends new consumer food education database recently released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The tool, called “Food Scores,” awards packaged food products ratings on a 1-to-10 scale that takes into consideration nutrients, ingredients and processing  as well as identifying how the food measures up on a variety of criteria such as organic certification, the use of antibiotics in livestock, animal welfare, and exposure to pesticides. With more than 80,000 packaged foods in its database, the tool can serve as a source for providing consumers with quick, clear answers to their questions about what is in—and behind—the foods they purchase.

“Food Scores is a tool for consumers looking to learn as much as they can about a product in one place,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of NCL. “Educating consumers about which foods measure up and which are actually filled with fat, sugar, and sodium is a vital step in promoting healthier eating and ending the obesity crisis.”

The Food Scores database is a combination of information gleaned from manufacturer labeling and Environmental Working Group’s own research. In addition to the overall score, the database provides three more detailed scales addressing nutrition, ingredient, and processing concerns. It also provides the Nutrition Facts panel, ingredient list, and any certifications or seals the product bares.

With the release of the database, EWG hopes to point out the prevalence of excessive sugar in products consumers wouldn’t suspect such as salad dressings, yogurt, and granola bars. Advocates expect the database to also apply pressure on industrial food makers to stop adding unnecessary ingredients out of convenience. Food Scores is currently an online tool but will be made available as a mobile app.


About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization. Its mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit