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Center for Food Integrity

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

The Center for Food Integrity (CFI) is an industry funded front group which states that it aims "to build consumer trust and confidence in the contemporary U.S. food system by sharing accurate, balanced information, correcting misinformation, modeling best practices and engaging stakeholders to address issues that are important to consumers."[1]

The formation of the group was announced in March 2007. The domain name was registered on March 1, 2007 by Charlie Arnot, from the Kansas City, Missouri -based PR firm CMA Consulting. In 2006 Arnot also registered the domain name for Best Food Nation, a website launched to coincide with the release of the film version of Eric Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation. CFI is reported to be the result of Best Food Nation and the Grow America Project (GAP).

Tactics

Joseph Mendelson, the Legal director for the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a bona-fide consumer group which which aims to end food industry practices that damage the environment and human health, believes CFI's name mimics his own organization's. "The name was obviously chosen to try to distract attention from groups like ours and to confuse consumers," he told FoodNavigator-USA.com.[2]

"My suspicion is that the food industry is concerned that more regulatory oversight is coming its way. This is a way for it to promote its agenda under a green wash label," he said.[2]

According to a study from CFS by Michele Simon, CFI uses a variety of methods to manipulate public perception of the food industry. It conducts consumer surveys and then promotes them through methods like webinars.[3][4] CFI also hosts events like the 2012 Food Integrity Summit, which claimed to be "the first-ever forum on ethics, values, and trust in today’s food system..."[5]

Personnel

CFI Members

The following organizations were listed as partner organizations as of 2013:[6]

Contact details

Center for Food Integrity
7501 NW Tiffany Springs Parkway, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64153
Phone: 816-880-5360
Website: http://www.foodintegrity.org

Resources and Articles

Related SourceWatch articles

CFI statements

General articles

References

  1. Center for Food Integrity, About Us, organizational website, accessed March 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Food Industry Takes Action: New Industry Body Forms to Quell Consumer Food Fears, Bulldog Reporter, March 26, 2007.
  3. Michele Simon, The Best Public Relations That Money Can Buy, Center for Food Safety report, May 2013.
  4. The Center for Food Integrity, 2012 Research Webinars, organizational website, accessed June 5, 2013.
  5. The Center for Food Integrity, 2012 Food Integrity Summit, organizational website, accessed June 5, 2013.
  6. The Center for Food Integrity, The Center for Food Integrity: Membership, organization website, accessed June 5, 2013.
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