"The Center for Consumer Freedom"

Sep 30, 2009 Published under Advertising (good vs misleading), Health

With a name like that – The Center for Consumer Freedom – you can be sure this DC spin group has an industry-group agenda.  The agenda in this case is to convince consumers that a product that does not exist in nature is the same as one that does – trying to say High Fructose Corn Syrup is the same as honey.  The problem is your body has a difficult time breaking up the artificially created sugars from HFCS, a problem that is contributing to obesity and diabetes

This is their press release:

WASHINGTON – The Center for Consumer Freedom has launched a $1 million advertising campaign designed to respond to inaccuracies about high-fructose corn syrup. The campaign will involve a television commercial and three full-page newspaper advertisements. It will emphasize that H.F.C.S. is nutritionally the same as other sweeteners such as table sugar and honey.

The TV commercial will air on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and CNBC and will run for three weeks. It will feature actors dressed as an ear of corn, a sugar cube and a honey bear standing in a police line-up. A victim in the commercial will be unable to tell which sweetener was responsible for his weight gain. The print advertisements will run in USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Crain’s Chicago Business.

"People have been spoon-fed misinformation about high-fructose corn syrup," said Rick Berman, executive director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies and consumers. "We thought it was time someone explained, in no uncertain terms, that high-fructose corn syrup has the exact same number of calories as table sugar and is handled the same way by the body. Any non-agenda-driven nutrition expert will tell you the same."

In fact this group is part of a Corn Industry response to consumer rejection.  A lot of evidence from scientists has come in that HFCS is not good for our health.  Empty calories are empty calories, and sugar as well as HFCS make you fat with no nutritional benefit, but it is worse when unscrupulous advertisers and companies try to deceive consumers.

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  1. Bernadette Clavier said:

    Since there aren’t legal restrictions on HFCS advertising like there are on cigarette or alcohol commercials, the next best thing would be for MSNBC, Fox News, CNN or CNBC leaders to speak up and refuse to air such nonsense. Their incentives certainly aren’t aligned to take such a stance. Do they even care?

  2. More on the "Center for Consumer Freedom" | Daniel Lubetzky said:

    [...] to my post about "The Center for Consumer Freedom", and to their campaign to spin how HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup) is good for you, I just [...]

  3. Cynthia1770 said:

    I’ve seen the the anti-antiHFCS campaign commercial on Youtube, and it”s pretty lame. Three Fruit of the Loom rejects are in a line-up and the guard from Night
    at the Museum is interrogating a slightly overweight
    dude. Dud. The public is a lot more sophisticated and
    saavy. Ever since Dr. Popkin’s orignal paper showing the correlation between increased HFCS consumption and rising rates of obesity we have been on alert. Our
    vocabulary has been enriched with words like ghrelin and leptin and we’re reading ingredient labels like hawks. We felt duped by food manufacturers during our fat obsession days when we learned that they
    substituted HFCS for oils. We read the statistics that one of three children born after 2000 may develop type II diabetes. We go to Europe and see nomal sized individuals, and we come back to the US and see a nation of obesity. Europe uses sucrose; we use HFCS. Gee, could there be a connection?

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