Ding Dongs Don’t Kill People…

Image: Knight-Ridder Tribune

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


With health advocates threatening to sue McDonald’s and impose “fat taxes” on snacks, what’s the junk-food industry to do? The answer: Borrow a page from the gun lobby’s playbook and launch a PR campaign to convince Americans that it’s not the food’s fault if you’re fat. Leading the charge is the Center for Consumer Freedom, an organization created to defend “the freedoms we hold dear, like nachos, Ding Dongs, and powdered-sugar doughnuts.” The center is using opinion pieces, magazine ads, websites, and talk shows to attack what it calls the “food police.”

Founded by Rick Berman, a longtime lobbyist for the food industry, the center won’t disclose its backers, but documents show that it has received at least $2 million from Philip Morris, maker of Oreos, Doo Dads, and Cheez Whiz. To beef up their presence in Washington, junk-food companies have also backed several other lobbying groups, including the American Council on Science and Health. As part of its mission to keep America fit, the council has issued a list of “summer tips for staying healthy.” Its title: “For Your Upcoming Picnic, Don’t Hold the Mayo.”

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate