Front Groups

Canada's Propaganda War for Engineered Foods

The Canadian government, working closely with the biotech industry, is spending millions getting Canadians to accept genetically modified foods. Lyle Stewart describes the "spider's web of influence" that brings together the biotech and agri-food industries, large grocery distributors, the Hill & Knowlton PR firm, and industry-created front groups such as the Food Biotechnology Communications Network, and co-opted NGOs including the Consumers' Association of Canada.


Mall Developer's Ohio Front Group Exposed in the Press

"A mall (development) war ... has heated up after one developer secretly launched a hard-hitting public relations strike against a competitor, warning that the rival's plan could lead to traffic gridlock and adult businesses. ... After The Cincinnati Enquirer obtained a plan that outlined part of the campaign, David Kass, Continental Retail Development's president, admitted Wednesday to unleashing it against (competitor) Steiner. But he said it was a legal effort similar to development campaigns elsewhere in the country. ... 'We're coming clean,' Mr.


Berman Sees Anti-Meat Conspirators at Wall St. Journal

Tobacco, booze and food lobbyist Rick Berman has mastered the art of lining his own pockets running his non-profit industry-funded front groups . And now there he goes again, attacking us for a quote of John Stauber's in a recent Wall Street Journal article on the mad deer epidemic . Berman is the master of the smear campaign and constantly misrepresents the individuals and groups he attacks.


"Corporate Phantoms" Demonize the GE Food Debate

Two weeks ago, Guardian columnist George Monbiot described how the Bivings Group, a PR company contracted to Monsanto, invented fake citizens to post messages on internet listservers. "These phantoms had launched a campaign to force Nature magazine to retract a paper it had published, alleging that native corn in Mexico had been contaminated with GM pollen," Monbiot writes in today's column. "But this, it now seems, is just one of hundreds of critical interventions with which PR companies hired by big business have secretly guided the biotech debate over the past few years. ...


PR Attack Dog Berman Dishes It Out, But Can't Take It

Tobacco PR lobbyist Rick Berman runs a lucrative business smearing public interest groups through his industry-funded fronts such as and Berman can dish it out, but apparently he can't take it, nor stand the truth. He is threatening to sue food safety activist Jeff Nelson of VegSource for revealing that Berman lines his own pockets from his "non-profit" enterprises. According to Nelson, "Berman claims he wants to 'expose' funding sources of non-profit activist organizations.


Berman's Food Industry Front Group Attacks 'Mad Cow USA,' Yet Again...

Rick Berman, the tobacco lobbyist who runs Consumer (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.


Berman Floats to the Top

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

No Picked for USA Today Hot Site

Tobacco, booze, and restaurant industry front-group website received "hot site" status in USA Today. "In the Internet age, all secrets are open secrets. With gleeful abandon, reveals the diverse and oftentimes surprising sources currently funding nonprofit activist organizations. From Mothers Against Drunk Driving to Greenpeace," USA Today writes. What's missing is ActivistsCash's own funding sources.


Flacking for Vermont Yankee

When Marty Jezer got a letter and survey in the mail from "Citizens Against the Shutdown of Vermont Yankee," he guessed right away that the group was a front for his local nuclear power plant. "Vermont Yankee has always presented its side of the nuclear story with vigor," he says. "They have a public relations staff trained to do that job. So why the front group? Why the transparently ridiculous attempt to show grassroots support?"


Global Climate Coalition Melts Down

The Global Climate Coalition, a front group for the auto, oil, coal and other industries responsible for most of the greenhouse gas emissions that are changing the climate, recently announced that has disbanded, explaining that it "has served its purpose by contributing to a new national approach to global warming.



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