With obesity a national crisis in the United States and hunger a national crisis in many parts of the Third World, the food industry is struggling with declining sales. "A recently as a decade ago, Campbell Soup Co. was posting tidy volume gains for its ubiquitous red-and-white label soups. Today, company watchers doubt Campbell can even stabilize declining sales of its condensed soup," notes Advertising Age in a story titled "Food Industry Growth Stalls." To reverse the trend, the food industry is looking for ways to get Americans to eat more.
Rick Berman, the tobacco lobbyist who runs Consumer Freedom.com (which he started with $900,000 from Philip Morris) condemns us for "fearmongering" about the dangers of mad cow-type diseases in the US. Berman uses a combination of false claims and misinformation to smear us and our 1997 book Mad Cow USA. Berman's operation is funded by food and booze interests such as Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company and the largest food conglomerate in the US.
Tobacco, booze and restaurant industry lobbyist Rick Berman is sending around a news release crowing about being included in this year's list of "star rainmakers" in Hill magazine, a publication for Washington insiders "aimed at the 100 senators, 435 House members, 40,000 aides and tens of thousands in the influence industry whose work affects the lives of all Americans." Berman has also received two "pollie" awards from the American Association for Polit
Remember all the warnings that sugar was bad for you? It still is, says Aubrey Sheiham, professor of dental public health at University College, London - but food companies are covering it up. The sugar industry's tactics have included infiltrating nutritional advisory boards, threats of legal action against critical researchers like Sheiham, and funding of front groups such as the International Life Sciences Institute (founded in 1978 by Coca-Cola and other food companies).
"If a last-minute provision in the Senate farm bill becomes law, irradiated hamburger could become known by a more appealing name: pasteurized beef," New York Times reporter Elizabeth Becker writes. "Senator Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who heads the Senate Agriculture Committee, said today that he had inserted the provision in an effort to 'more clearly define pasteurization,' the process by which disease-producing bacteria have long been destroyed in some foods through heating.
A news release from the Washington, D.C.-based Public Citizen organization notes that "for the past five years, the food irradiation industry has been attempting to ... change the current labeling requirements for irradiated foods so that they could be labeled as either 'cold pasteurized' or 'electronic pasteurized.' But public opposition has been stiff.
A food industry website reports that lobbyist Rick Berman addressed Tuesday's annual meeting of the National Turkey Association. "What many of you don't understand is just how many different ways this industry is being attacked by groups. They are coming at you all from the animal rights side, as well as biotechnology, antibiotics hysteria, anti-corporate, labor and the factory farms angle. ...
Judy Blatman, who helped put cocktail hour on TV for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (which represents some of the nation's largest hard-liquor companies), has been hired to represent the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which represents companies that sell diet pills and allegedly "natural" food supplements -- including ephedra, which has been linked to