by Marion Nestle
Oct 1 2009

The soft drink industry strikes back

Today’s New York Times carries this full-page ad taking on the New York City Health Department’s campaign against sodas.

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Although the ad says it’s paid for by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), it doesn’t take much to guess who paid that group for it.  What better way to fight back than to hide behind this particular public relations agency, which specializes in defending purveyors of unhealthful products.

What CCF is about – and which companies pay for its work – are well known (for starters, see previous post).

I’m guessing the Health Department’s campaign must be having an effect if soft drink companies are so worried that they are willing to fund a group that is so consumer unfriendly.

Addendum:  no wonder they are worried.  According to a new report on soda taxation from Center for Science in the Public Interest, President Obama has said the idea is worth considering.

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And thanks to Fred Tripp for giving me yet another CCF ad, this one from the September 30 A.M. New York.   All of this must be making soda companies worried enough to sign on with CCF.  Not a good idea.

Update October 2: I’ve just been send a link to Rachel Maddow’s comments on Rick Berman, the head of CCF.  Look for “Meet Rick Berman.”  It gives an overview of CCF accounts.  I’m not sure when it aired.

  • http://changewithoutchanging.blogspot.com Jonathan Brandon

    I have spent the last hour perusing this organization’s website, and it’s truly horrifying. Of course it is transparent in purpose, but nonetheless, this is the type of misinformation that keeps people from considering alternatives to their wasteful, unethical, and irreponsible lifestyles. This is motivating!

  • Janet Camp

    Thanks, Jonathan. It’s interesting to see to what lengths people will go to protect their investments. Soda companies are publicly traded and almost anyone with a 401k owns a piece of one of them. I do not, but people tend to find that odd and don’t see a connection between their owning bits of these companies and the health of the nation.

  • RawlinD

    And CSPI are paragons of impartial advocacy? Doing it all for our own good? Never twist and cherry-pick science to their own ends?

    Sure.

  • RawlinD

    And CSPI are paragons of impartial advocacy? Doing it all for our own good? Never twist and cherry-pick science to their own ends?

    Sure.

    As I recall, CSPI were the same crusaders who championed for hydrogenated vegetable oils for frying. Trans fats.

    Oops.

  • Marisa

    So taxing bad things like cigarettes is not big brother-ish, but taxing another bad thing like soda is? (Do sodas have anything good about them?)

  • Essie

    Berman is scheduled to apppear on Rachel Maddow’s show sometime this week. Can’t wait to see that.

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