They Work for Them: The Center for Consumer Freedom

The Center for Consumer Freedom is a lobbying and media group that advocates ‘consumer choice,’ specifically the choice to consume fast foods, alcohol, and tobacco. Originally founded with money from a grant from the Philip Morris company (and launching as the ‘Guest Choice Network’), the Center for Consumer Freedom is currently funded by a long list of food and restaurant companies, including Coco-Cola, Monsanto, Tyson Foods, and Applebees.

The Center’s web site indexes stories from affliated programs, such as FishScam.com, a site about mercury levels in fish, as well serving as host to many of the group’s television spots.

We eat red meat, drink alcohol, and smoke cigarettes nearly every day, without the incentive of advocacy from anyone but our stomachs and lungs. Americans have hardly any need to be convinced to consume things that are bad for them. If consumer choice were the Center’s true aim, one would hope they would encourage studies that show both the positive and deleterious effects of the products they advocate. Having the freedom to choose includes knowingly choosing the less healthy option.

Especially when that option is ‘smothered and covered.”

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  1. airship says:

    I know nothing about this organization, and their sources of funding certainly make them suspect. But I completely favor the idea of inidividual choice. I’m sick of the idea of the ‘nanny state’ whose job it is to protect us from ourselves. I would like to see rules where, for example, someone who smokes for 50 years and then gets lung cancer isn’t covered by health insurance, so that I don’t have to pay larger premiums into the pool so they can indulge themselves. Likewise for motorcyclists who choose not to wear helmets, etc. But as long as their actions have consequences only to themselves, I say go for it.

  2. Benko says:

    but dont you think the companies do bear some responsibility as to the choice that consumers make? people dont smoke and eat fast foods because they and only they feel the need to. it doesnt happen by accident. cigarette and fast food companies make people want their products more. extremely fatty foods and synthetic ingredients make people want another big mac, and all the additives in cigarettes along with the dreaded innate nicotine make people want another marlboro. sure its all fine and good that people ‘choose’ to consume these products but people wouldnt consume these things if they werent being sold altogether, so there has to be some sort of sanctions put on companies who do make these dangerous consumer ‘choices'; and if that means in the form of the odd lawsuit then so be it.
    about the high insurance premiums on account of people who are ‘bad’ choosing consumers, insurance and (in canada) healthcare are rights for people to have, regardless of their choice of lifestyle, not a privelidge.

  3. mrscolex says:

    I wonder if this is the same kind of lobbying group that the main character of the new movie “Thank you for smoking” represents. Awesome :>

    *typed by nicotine stained fingers*

    Some people in the imdb message boards and user reviews are clearly unaware of what the word “satire” means as they rant about how the movie promotes smoking…

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427944/

    Watch the trailer though, its cute and made me chuckle.