Thursday, April 28, 2005

Lobbyists in Sheeps' Clothing

Have you seen this ad?

It was paid for by the Center for Consumer Freedom.

I saw it in the latest issue of Newsweek. At first, I thought it was a joke, some twist on the going health recommendations designed to draw attention.

"Obesity is not a Problem ... [that's] Hype"?


Apparently, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a front group for tobacco, alcohol, and restaurant interests. They've been buying tony spots in popular publications (NYTimes, LA Times, Newsweek, Wash Post, etc.) promoting their dubious health messages under the guise of respectable journalism.

Here are just a handful of the groups they take to task:

CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest)
MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
Ralph Nadar's group, Public Citizen
US Surgeon General

The group reveals the backbone of in the person of Richard Berman, a Washington lobbyist who heads the for-profit public relations firm Berman and Co. lists the individuals, businesses, and organizations behind this consumer charade. It's worth a perusal to familiarize yourself with the names of companies whose hunger for profit eradicates social scruples, let alone respect for science. A few on that list include Philip Morris (over $3 million in contributions to Consumer Freedom), Arby's, Burger King, Chi-Chi's, Coco Cola, Hard Rock Cafe, Outback Steakhouse, Tyson Foods, and Wendy's.

With this kind of powerful, and in my opinion subversively deceptive public manipulation, is it any wonder that - as an example - government agencies like the USDA, with their new milk-heavy Food Guide Pyramid are run roughshod over by cunning and financially well-situated industry lobby groups (in this case the National Dairy Council)?

What a travesty.


Dana Nesen said...

Great blog. I am doing some research to post an article on my blog as well. Mind if I quote some of your findings?

Bix said...

Hi more ... Please do! (This is an old post so the references might be out of date, but the essense isn't.)