What is the Center for Consumer Freedom?
Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. We believe that the consumer is King. And Queen.
A growing cabal of activists has meddled in Americans’ lives in recent years. They include self-anointed “food police,” health campaigners, trial lawyers, personal-finance do-gooders, animal-rights misanthropes, and meddling bureaucrats.
Their common denominator? They all claim to know “what’s best for you.” In reality, they’re eroding our basic freedoms—the freedom to buy what we want, eat what we want, drink what we want, and raise our children as we see fit. When they push ordinary Americans around, we’re here to push back.
- So what exactly is “consumer freedom”?Consumer freedom is the right of adults and parents to choose how they live their lives, what they eat and drink, how they manage their finances, and how they enjoy themselves.
- But you’re opposed to “good” groups. Doesn’t that make you the “bad guys”?We speak up whenever activists propose curtailing consumer freedom. What makes us different from many organizations is that we aren’t afraid to take on groups that have built “good” images through slick public relations campaigns. Just because they claim to be “ethical” or “responsible” or “in the public interest” doesn’t mean they are. Just because they claim to be “scientific” doesn’t mean it’s true. Activists are maneuvering to tax your favorite foods, throw the book at popular restaurants with tobacco-style lawsuits, limit the options you have for managing your money, and even criminally harass people with whom they disagree. We make sure you know about it.
- Do you have a bias?Yes! We believe that only you know what’s best for you. When activists try to force you to live according to their vision of society, we don’t take it lying down.
- Do you guys support gluttony?Of course not! No one would endorse the “Super Size Me” diet. Like all things in life, moderation is key. Eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of physical activity is crucial. Unfortunately, Americans have been force-fed a diet of bloated statistics hyping the problem of obesity. Those statistics have been used by Big Brother government bureaucrats and greedy trial lawyers to justify a host of noxious “solutions,” like extra taxes on certain foods and lawsuits against anyone who grows, makes, or serves anything tasty.
- Does that mean you’re against vegetarians?Of course not. Everyone should have the right to make his or her own choices about what to eat and drink, whether it’s a garden salad and bottled water, or a prime rib steak and a cocktail. We respect your personal choices, and we expect the same in return.
- Who funds you guys? How about some “full disclosure”?The Center for Consumer Freedom is supported by restaurants, food companies and thousands of individual consumers. From farm to fork, from urban to rural, our friends and supporters include businesses, their employees, and their customers.The Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We file regular statements with the Internal Revenue Service, which are open to public inspection.Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated that they want anonymity as contributors. They are reasonably apprehensive about privacy and safety in light of the violence and other forms of aggression some activists have adopted as a “game plan” to impose their views, so we respect their wishes.
- I’m from the media. How do I contact you?Just call 202.463.7112 ext 115.
- Richard Berman, Executive Director
Rick Berman is the Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom and is also President of the Washington, DC-based public affairs firm Berman and Company, which specializes in research, communications, and creative advertising. Berman has founded several leading non-profit organizations known for their fact-based research and their aggressive communications campaigns.
To Berman, consumer freedom in part means that “people should not be lead around by the nose with bad information,” as he told “60 Minutes” co-host Morley Safer. It also means getting people to understand that certain messengers aren’t as credible as their name suggests.
Watch Rick’s interview with “60 Minutes” here: http://www.bermanco.com/rick-berman/
- J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst
- IRS Form 990:2010