Posted by JohnnySensible at 12/03/07 19:45:01Richard Berman, Philip Morris etc. vs PETA & PCRM - http://www.consumerdeception.com/
Posted Tuesday November 27, 2007
I would like to correct some misleading information in a Nov. 11 letter by Susan Levin ("Plant-only is best").
A meatless and milk-less "vegan" diet is a fine choice for the tiny minority of Americans who believe in the "rights" of animals, but it is not a recognized cure for diabetes, cancer or other ailments.
Levin's organization, the misnamed Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), is an animal-rights group, not a mainstream medical or nutrition organization. More than two-thirds of its $9 million budget comes directly from the wealthy founder of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida. PETA has contributed $1.3 million.
Animal rights activists will naturally want to steer Americans toward plant-only diets, but they should be honest about their motives. And Americans with health issues should be listening to their doctors, not to a group of save- the-chickens radicals.
Director of Research
Center for Consumer Freedom
Readers Comment -
The misnamed Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is little more than a public relations group for such industries as agribusiness, fast food, and tobacco. Its seed money came from Philip Morris. CCF owns the anti-PETA website (and a slew of other mud-slinging sites) they point to as though it were an entirely independent reference.
CCF opposes warning labels on food, bans on smoking in public places, and other such measures that protect consumers. CCF thinks drink driving laws are too tough and waged a campaign against Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. They attack anyone who dares to ask about the safety of red meat consumption, alcohol, genetically engineered foods, pesticides, and antibiotic use in food animals. They hide behind the name of their organization and titles such as Mr Martosko's (Director of Research) and attack anyone who is a threat to their member interests. They have colorful language to describe the scientists and others who disagree with their agenda. They twist words around so that now in order to be of any benefit, a vegan diet must "cure" cancer or diabetes in order to be of any real benefit. A faulty argument, yes, but this group of clownish radicals does whatever they deem necessary to attack the credibility of those they oppose.
For more information on the deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom, visit http://www.consumerdeception.com/
Posted by: scoutk on Wed Nov 28, 2007 7:37 am
Posted by JohnnySensible at 12/03/07 19:58:05Washington Post on Richard Berman -
= Berman's center was jump-started in 1995 with money from Philip Morris, and, thanks to memos that were made public in the discovery process during the lawsuits against Big Tobacco, his strategic vision is now plain for all to see. "The concept," he wrote Philip Morris at the time, "is to unite the restaurant and hospitality industries in a campaign to defend their consumers and marketing programs against attacks from anti-smoking, anti-drinking, anti-meat, etc. activists." The industries apparently have appreciated Berman's work. According to the Center for Media and Democracy, a former Berman associate has produced documents showing that Coca-Cola, Wendy's, Tyson Foods, Cargill and Outback Steakhouse are among Berman's largest donors. =
Posted by Stig at 12/16/07 08:38:50cspinet.org/EatingGreen/index.html
I like CSPI - this article below is more than 4 years old but quite relevant still to this thread.
It shows the lengths that Richard Berman & Co. will go to to promote animal torture & other related perversions.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, February 20, 2003
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Jeff Cronin: 202-777-8370
BOGUS 'CONSUMER' GROUP STRIPPED OF DOMAIN NAMES
Restaurant and Bar Lobby Behind "Orwellian" PR Campaign
WASHINGTON-A trade association representing chain restaurants and taverns has surrendered the domain names of two sites designed to hijack web traffic away from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the pro-nutrition advocacy group. The trade association, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), had registered cspinot.com, where it attacked CSPI and it's web site, cspinet.org. CCF had also purchased smartmouth.org, a domain name almost identical to that of Smart-Mouth.org, where CSPI provides information for children about nutrition and food marketing.
CCF is one of a shadowy trio of tax-exempt front groups run by Washington lobbyist Richard Berman. That trio also includes the American Beverage Institute, which fights laws designed to curb drunk driving, and the Employment Policies Institute, which is opposed to raising the minimum wage, particularly in the labor-intensive restaurant industry. CCF used to be named the Guest Choice Network, which was founded with seed money from Philip Morris. Berman controls all the organizations, which operate out of Berman's for-profit business, Berman & Co. The current funders of these groups are not disclosed, but Berman's groups are associated with executives from table-service restaurants like Outback Steakhouse, Chili's, and Pizzeria Uno.
"The so-called Center for Consumer Freedom deceives the American people every day of the week by posing as a consumer group, when it's really a front group that does P.R. dirty work for the restaurant and tavern industry," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "But even I was surprised that Rick Berman and his henchmen would stoop so low as to stop young kids from getting valuable nutrition information. I'm never surprised, though, by the goofy and low-brow tone of his efforts. Berman's a real bottom-feeder."
CSPI filed complaints under ICANN's dispute resolution policy. ICANN is the body charged with regulating the Internet domain name system. This is not the first such defeat for CCF, whose registration of the domain name cspinet.com was successfully challenged in January 2002. Also that month, Berman's group had to turn over the domain name chefscollaborative.info to its rightful owner, Chefs Collaborative. In that decision, the panel found that CCF "has engaged in a pattern of registering domain names with the intention of depriving political opponents that own a mark from using that mark in a corresponding domain name."
According to the latest ruling, "[I]t appears that [CCF] attempted to create confusion among Internet users looking for [CSPI's] websites." While one of the sites at issue, cspinot.com, criticized CSPI, CCF redirected traffic from smartmouth.org to the kid's section of the American Dental Association's (ADA)'s web site. According to CSPI, that helped show that CCF acted in bad faith, merely intending to confuse the young visitors trying to reach Smart-Mouth.org.
"The Center for Consumer Freedom has absolutely nothing to do with consumers, but it has everything to do with maximizing profits for major restaurant-and-bar chains," Jacobson said. "It's totally Orwellian. CCF's client companies want consumers-and their kids, evidently-to have less information about their food choices, not more. CCF is anti-parent, anti-kid, anti-health, and anti-truth. The restaurants that fund CCF should be ashamed."
Note: The decision of the National Arbitration Forum panel in Center for Science in the Public Interest v. Guest Choice Network (FA021000128796) is available at www.arbitration-forum.com/domains/decisions/128796.htm.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a nonprofit health-advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on nutrition and food safety. CSPI is supported largely by the 800,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants.
CSPI's Smart-Mouth.org helps make learning about healthy eating fun for kids. It lets kids see for themselves how their favorite restaurant foods stack up, and teaches kids how industry marketing practices influence their food choices.
Center for Science in the Public Interest
1875 Connecticut Avenue, NW #300
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-9110 ext. 370