by Marion Nestle
May 17 2013

How to recognize industry groups in disguise

Michele Simon and the Center for Food Safety have just come out with a new report: Best Public Relations Money Can Buy: A Guide to Food Industry Front Groups.

 This report explains how how Big Food and Big Ag promote their agendas through organizations with consumer-friendly names such as the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, the Center for Consumer Freedom, and the Alliance to Feed the Future.

The report is guide to recognizing such groups for what they really are.

It’s great to have it.

Addition: Here’s Michele Simon’s discussion of her new report.

  • AQ

    Do you have any thoughts on the King amendment to the Food Bill? I know there’s been a lot of outcry against it from animal welfare groups and environmental groups, but I was wondering what your opinion was.

  • AQ

    *Farm Bill

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  • I often wondered when I would hear some pro-GMO (“modern, sustainable agriculture”) ad and it would be from America’s Farmers. Which farmers, since so many commodities were not GMO yet? Did they ask the organic farmers? Nope. “Brought to you by Monsanto” is right there at the top. Huh.

    Thank you for sharing this article!

  • FarmerJane

    There are plenty of farmers who are afraid to speak up…regular family farmers. While I’ve had many positive experiences chatting with people on twitter and made numerous contacts, I can list numerous scary experiences, too. Try to be a regular livestock farmer and comment in some of the food-interested websites. For example, take a look at “Eatocracy,” CNN’s food/farmer blog. Typical farmers who try to explain what they do on their farms are “set upon”, mocked for their looks, called corporate shills, etc. I have commented on blogs about my livestock farm to then be threatened with physical harm and had my every word, comment and phrase mocked.

    Anybody have any suggestions as to how the conversation between regular farmer and interested urban people can be improved? I’d rather not rely on front groups to do the talking for me!

  • Mike

    Why isn’t it just as insidious when “righteous agriculture” groups disguise their intentions?

    Should “big-ag” just roll over and accept everything thrown their way by groups like EWG?

  • Ellen

    I can’t easily find information on the funding behind the Center for Food Safety, and clearly they believe transparency is important in evaluating the sources of information, so it must be public. Where do they post their funding stats?

  • Jeff

    And which industry group pays for the Center for Food Safety???