Front Groups

"ConsumerFreedom" Attacks Greenpeace in Newsweek

Tobacco lobbyist Rick Berman began his Guest Choice Network with $600,000 from Philip Morris. This month he renamed his tobacco front group "" and under that name is running a full page ad on the back cover of today's Weekly Standard attacking the animal rights group PETA. Another full page ad in the January 28 issue of Newsweek attacks Greenpeace.

No Exposed as Tobacco Front Group

The Wall Street Journal recently gave a plug to, a new website that claims to expose where "activists get their money." attacks environmental, health and animal rights activists as "nannies," "anti-choice zealots" and "hypocrites" who pretend to represent grassroots citizens while taking money from foundations.


No More No More Scares?

A year ago we reported on the "No More Scares" campaign (, an industry front group aimed at smearing environmental and health activists as "fearmongers." Now it appears that No More Scares has quietly decommissioned itself, and links to its website no longer work. In Trust Us, We're Experts we noted that "corporate-funded front groups ... are sometimes fly-by-night organizations.


Guest Choice & The Food Police: Strange Bedfellows Continued

The tobacco, booze and food industry lobbyists at Rick Berman's Guest Choice Network usually castigate Michael Jacobson's Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) as the dreaded "food police" when it comes to fat and sugar in the diet. But they are loving CSPI's promotion of genetically engineered food.


Coal Industry Front Group Spouts Hot Air

Michael Betsch at the Cybercast News Service reports that "the conservative environmental group, Greening Earth Society" opposes the scientific consensus that global warming is a real problem. Betsch fails to point out that this "conservative environmental group" is actually a front group created by the coal industry. We examine the Greening Earth Society and the industry campaign to confuse the climate debate in our book, Trust Us, We're Experts.


Microsoft Front Group Applauds Pro-Microsoft Court Ruling

The Association for Competitive Technology, which was created and funded by Microsoft to defend its interests against charges of antitrust violations, has applauded last week's appeals court ruling reversing the order to break up Microsoft. "From the outset of this trial, the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) has consistently argued that preserving the right of a company to add features to their products is the central issue in this case," states an ACT news release.


The "Goon Squad"

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights put together this report on "the destruction of initiative democracy by big corporations trying to disguise themselves. ... When consumer advocates sponsor HMO reform, or utility rate reduction proposals, for example, insurance lobbyists or utility executives stay behind the scenes. Instead, they give money to individuals or organizations who then appear in their television ads, press conferences and other events, pretending to be impartial experts, consumer advocates, environmentalists, etc.



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