Food Industry Attack Strategy: Call Critics 'Food Fascists'

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It is always interesting to watch the food industry deal with criticism. One common strategy is to discredit critics through personal attacks. Most companies are too embarrassed to do this publicly. Instead, they pay public relations firms—in this case, the Center for Consumer Freedom—to do this for them.

What is this group? See Center for Consumer Freedom Exposed and follow the links to see lists of the food industry donors it keeps secret.

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am an occasional target of this group, as can be seen from the piece it posted yesterday:

Marion Nestle, Food Fascist

Sound harsh? After our latest check-in with everyone's favorite anti-pleasure nutritionist, we think it's completely appropriate. Marion Nestle published an article on her blog today quoting a law professor named Timothy Lytton, who insists that trampling on anyone's First Amendment rights is a no-no. That prompted Nestle and fellow obesity warrior Dr. David Ludwig to fire off an astonishing letter.

The post goes on to quote extensively from my comments earlier this week. It also points out:

At the end of the day, there's no high-minded Constitutional principle in play here. This is about Marion Nestle attacking businesses she doesn't like. This is the same professor who delivered a speech at an event sponsored by the "Socialist Conference" of the American Public Health Association. Nestle also addressed the "Socialist Scholars Conference" in 2003.

These kinds of strategies speak for themselves.

The corporations that hire the Center to do things like this should be ashamed of themselves.


This post also appears on foodpolitics.com.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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