Does "Consumer Freedom" Mean Getting Sick and Dying Too?

If the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a good national watchdog for food and nutritional issues (although sometimes they get it wrong in a big way), consider the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit advocacy group financed by the food and restaurant industries, its polar opposite.

This awesome New York Times piece is a fascinating expose behind the in-your-face approach Consumer Freedom uses to defend its clients as it tries to beat back regulations and discourage consumer lawsuits. They believe food and restaurant companies are being unfairly blamed for making Americans fat and unhealthy, and that people are smart enough to make their own well informed choices.

Those so-called well informed choices were at the heart of Consumer Freedom's origins: The group was launched with the help of seed money from Philip Morris a decade ago to fight smoking bans in restaurants and bars.

The lobbying group got much undeserved attention after an April study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sharply lowered the number of annual deaths it attributes to obesity from 400,000 to 112,000 (although none of the many health problems that spring from obesity and result in deaths were added to the mix).

Fact is folks, anything a lobbying group like Consumer Freedom can do to create a doubt in the minds of consumers obesity is indeed a serious worldwide epidemic right now is a reprieve and a boon for the food industry that generates the lion's share of its $500 billion annually on processed foods largely made from genetically modified substances you have no business eating.

By the way, another watchdog group, the Center for Media and Democracy, recently published a list of donors to Consumer Freedom's efforts from 2001-02, some of which should sound very familiar to you:

Wilmington Star-News June 13, 2005

New York Times June 13, 2005 Registration Required

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