Center for Global Food Issues
The Center for Global Food Issues (CGFI) is a project of the conservative think-tank, the Hudson Institute, and is based in Churchville, Virginia.
According to the group's website, the CGFI "uses its worldwide overview of food and farming to assess policies, improve farmers' understanding of the new globalized farm economy, and heighten awareness of the environmental impacts of various farming systems and food policies."
According to the CGFI website its goals are to:
- "promote free trade in agricultural products for both economic efficiency and environmental conservation";
- "combat efforts to limit technological innovation in agriculture, the foundation for continued agricultural sustainability";
- "heighten awareness of the connection between agricultural productivity and environmental conservation".
Mad Cow Facts
In January 2004, Alex Avery announced in a media release that the CGFI was launching a "Mad Cow Facts" Web site, - http://www.mad-cow-facts.com/ - "to end the confusion and help consumers find credible information and commentary about Mad Cow Disease".
"Independent consumer research shows that, like mad cow claims, many of the production- oriented claims (such as antibiotic-free, hormone-free and pesticide-free) used by product marketing interests and advocacy groups confuse and mislead consumers and unfairly disparage products not carrying such claims. This irresponsibly exploits consumers and harms farmers at significant economic costs to both," Avery complained.
"Fears about Mad Cow Disease are currently being exploited by special interests and the media," the website warns. 
Part of the site is a news archive featuring columns attacking those who raise concerns about the discovery of a BSE infected cow in Washington State in December 2003. Included in the archive are articles by Daniel Mindus, Alex Avery, Fred Lombardi, Thomas R. DeGregori, Michael Fumento, Steven J. Milloy, David P. Ropeik and Justin Kastner and Douglas Powell (the latter two from the Food Safety Network
Earth Friendly, Farm Friendly
The Union of Concerned Scientists' reported, in their newsletter Earthwise (Vol 7, No 1, Winter 2004-2005) that CGFI had created an "Earth Friendly, Farm Friendly" product label. The newsletter advised readers to "avoid products bearing this seal," saying it was an example of labels which "use ambiguous wording to imply sustainable food production."
CGFI staff, as listed on the group website in January 2004, are:
- Dennis Avery - Director
- Alex Avery - Director of Research and Education
- Dr. Richard Halpern - Adjunct Fellow
- Dave Juday - Adjunct Fellow
- Tom Elam - Agricultural Economist
- Tim Durham - Adjunct Fellow
PO Box 202
Churchville VA 24421-0202
Phone: 540 337 6354
Fax: 540 337 8593
E-mail: cgfi At rica.net
- Center for Global Food Issues, "About CGFI", accessed January 2004.
- Center for Global Food Issues, "Center for Global Food Issues Launches Mad Cow Web Site", PR Newswire, January 22, 2004.