Media Shreds Deceptive Nonprofit Group
After years of ranting and railing against any person, product, or idea that might threaten the profits of the tobacco, alcohol, or fatty fast-food industries that founded and support it, Richard Berman’s Center for Consumer Freedom is now being exposed by the media as an “Astroturf” group—an industry-sponsored lobbying group masquerading as a registered nonprofit society.
This deluge of critical media coverage followed news of a November 2004 complaint by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to the Internal Revenue Service alleging that the Center for Consumer Freedom violated its tax-exempt status by making substantial payments to Richard Berman and his wholly owned for-profit company Berman & Co., “by engaging in activities with no charitable purpose” and by electioneering against presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. Read the entire complaint.
The Center for Consumer Freedom further exposed its allegiance to its corporate donors in an ill-conceived $600,000 advertising blitz attacking the “food police,” trial lawyers, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its alleged “obesity hype.”
Despite booming sales of supersized coffins, skyrocketing health-care costs, and municipal governments considering purchasing oversized ambulances and guerneys, Richard Berman, the same man who told us that there is no danger from secondhand smoke while being supported by Philip Morris, now claims that the reporting and dangers of obesity are exaggerated.
Read what the media are saying about Richard Berman and the Center for Consumer Freedom.