Front Groups Exposed—50 Industry Groups Form a New Alliance to Manipulate Public Opinion About Junk Food, GMOs, and Harmful Additives

June 2, 2013 12:10 pm 0 comments Views: 37

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If you think it’s tough sorting truth from industry propaganda and lies, get ready for even tougher times ahead.

More than 50 front groups, working on behalf of food and biotechnology trade groups―Monsanto being the most prominent―have formed a new coalition called Alliance to Feed the Future.

The alliance, which is being coordinated by the International Food Information Council (IFIC), was created to “balance the public dialogue” on modern agriculture and large-scale food production and technology, i.e. this group will aim to become the go-to source for “real” information about the junk being sold as “food.”

The groups comprising this new alliance represent multi-national food companies, biotech industry, and chemical companies that generate hundreds of billions of dollars worth of revenue from food related sales every year.

Front Groups Working to Keep Harmful Food Additives Hidden and on the Market

The Kellen Company is one of the biggest groups working with the food industry. Kellen “provides the essential services to advance associations to the next level of their evolution.” Such services include management, administration, accounting, meeting planning, membership marketing and strategic advice. According to the company’s website:

“Kellen takes the mission and message of each association client and brings it to audiences large and small, internal and external, domestic and international. Utilizing communications tools that are customized for each association, Kellen identifies the audiences, develops the strategies, defines the tactics and executes a planned and carefully reasoned communications plan.”

“Our consulting expertise enables us to reorganize association governance and assets, optimize association resources, extend reach for U.S. associations into Europe and Asia… Kellen’s team is expert in all strategic and tactical elements of associations and can provide insightful analysis and guidance on industry alignment… establishing new legal entities and building consensus. “ [Emphasis mine]

Additionally, if you look up IFAC’s origins in Internet business profiles, you’ll find that it was formed in 1980 by Patrick M. Farrey, who just so happens to be The Kellen Company’s group vice president. In short, The Kellen Company not only is linked to the formation of IFAC, but also serves as the managing entity behind IFAC. And its members, although a proper members list has not been obtained, are bound to be like their governing body― manufacturers of food additives, including but certainly not limited to manufacturers of artificial sweeteners and glutamate (i.e. MSG).

The Kellen Company has ties with other major industry players. According to a 2011 press release, one of the Kellen Company executives was honored as president of the Calorie Control Council, a non-profit association that represents manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie, sugar-free and reduced sugar foods and beverages. It’s also closely tied to the International Council of Grocery Manufacturers Associations (ICGMA), which, along with IFAC, urged the Codex working group to keep aluminum in food additives, despite the many known health risks associated with aluminum.

According to Truthinlabeling.org,6 there are a number of front groups for the glutamate and artificial sweetener industry in the US. In an article titled: Meet the people who get the job done so effectively, they write:

“In the United States, the glutamate industry has two arms. Both work to keep MSG hidden in food. One is the International Hydrolyzed Protein Council… The second and more active arm is spearheaded by Ajinomoto’s International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC) and its American subsidiary, The Glutamate Association (TGA), with representative organizations throughout the world.”

Keep Fighting for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November, by a very narrow margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. The field-of-play has now moved to the state of Washington, where the people’s initiative 522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. As stated on LabelitWA.org:

“Calorie and nutritional information were not always required on food labels. But since 1990 it has been required and most consumers use this information every day. Country-of-origin labeling wasn’t required until 2002. The trans fat content of foods didn’t have to be labeled until 2006. Now, all of these labeling requirements are accepted as important for consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also says we must know with labeling if our orange juice is from fresh oranges or frozen concentrate.

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