Ding Dongs Don’t Kill People…

Image: Knight-Ridder Tribune

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


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.”

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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