Friday, November 13, 2015

Is the Center for Consumer Freedom no longer working on soda?

The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is a classic industry-funded front group, secretive about its funding sources and utterly mercenary in its writing.

I once enjoyed debating soda policy in New York City with J. Justin Wilson from CCF in Episode 1 of a series of roundtables organized by the Museum of Food and Drink.

The Center was on my mind recently, after watching the the excellent 2014 documentary Merchants of Doubt on Netflix. There is a related book by the same title.

The Center's once-lively website now seems moribund. Here is a chart of its number of Headlines posts in the past year. The remaining activity seems focused only on attacking animal welfare organizations, not on other old favorite topics such as defending soda.

The last mention of sugar sweetened beverages that I could find was almost a year ago, covering some trivial beverage industry victory in Howard County, Maryland.

From the topic coverage, we can guess who the CCF's current funders are. Perhaps, with increased scrutiny, other industries have been providing less funding to CCF. One imagines that this organization operates on a strictly "pay to play" basis. It is hard to picture CCF continuing to cover a topic based merely on principle.


Anonymous said...

This is such wonderful news!

No doubt Center for Consumer Freedom's demise (by the end of this year if your trend line is accurate) foretells, at long last, the last of any activism for freedom of choice on the part of American consumers. As we all know, consumers must not be permitted to have a range of choices. They are incompetent to correctly exercise the right to choose. Consumers consistently fail to make choices we insist they should and that is the problem.

When we finally tax or ban all those extraneous choices into oblivion the consumer will be rescued from herself (and she will thank us, I am certain of that). Parke, do you have a trend line to predict when we will finally arrive at a perfectly regulated food system featuring just 5 or 6 approved foods, and those to be parsimoniously rationed according to our best food policing practices? Oh, then will be the halcyon days we are all now working so hard for!

usfoodpolicy said...

Hi Anonymous. Thanks for your comment. I think highly of consumer competence and greatly value the power to make food and beverage choices in well-functioning market economy. From your sarcastic tone, I know you've lumped me in with a certain class of nutrition educator who wishes experts could just make choices for people who otherwise might make unhealthy choices for themselves. But that misses what makes me tick.

By speaking up for consumer freedom in a post about a dark money industry propaganda arm with the name "consumer freedom" in the title, you are letting your good principles be misused.

Unknown said...

I'd wager they're keeping their heads down after this: