A Consumer Freedom Primer

From time to time we’re asked to sum up what the Center for Consumer Freedom is all about. Today we’re sharing a virtual smorgasbord of answers, courtesy of our Executive Director’s regular column on the Daily Caller news website.

The Center’s main job is to bring much-needed reality to public debates about what Americans eat and drink. And believe us, there’s plenty to talk about—far too much to fit into a single online column. But we did manage to cover obesity politics, trace levels of mercury in fish, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, sodium, and proposals to tax soft drinks.

Just like in our national discussions about energy and the environment, public health debates about food and beverages tend to come down to he-said-she-said shouting matches. And too often, the loudest shouter brings home the gold.

With eight- and nine-figure budgets, activist groups can often out-yell everyone else—even when science and reason go against what they’re screaming. That’s where we come in.

If you’ve followed our work in recent years, you know that we forced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to lower (by 93 percent!) its estimate of how many deaths each year are attributable to obesity. Why? The agency’s epidemiologists practiced shoddy public-health science.

Our regular readers also know that high fructose corn syrup is basically the same as ordinary sugar (so sayeth the American Medical Association); that the health benefits of seafood far outweigh any health risks (according to the Harvard School of Public Health); that the Center for Science in the Public Interest was for trans fats before it was against them; and that lowering everyone’s salt intake is essentially a coin flip that would harm as many Americans as it helps (and that’s the American Journal of Hypertension talking).

We have no illusion that food activists will wean themselves off of their collective junk-science diet any time soon. But fear not—we’ll be there to debunk, deflate, demystify, and contextualize whatever crazy new food fear they cook up next. Even if it means our opponents take plenty of cheap rhetorical shots at us along the way.

Click here to read this week’s Daily Caller column in its entirety.

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