Who's after Schlosser?

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Some 18 national food industry associations, from the American Meat Institute to the National Restaurant Association, are behind Bestfoodnation.com, which aims to "set the record straight when critics use out of date or inaccurate information to attack the food system." The site was registered on May 3 to Charlie Arnot, president of CMA Consulting, Kansas City, Mo., an issues management, public relations and communications firm. Mr. Arnot is a long-time pork industry consultant and worked for Premium Standard Farms. Bestfoodnation has links to groups such as the American Council on Science and Health, which at one time received 40% of its funding from companies including Burger King, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co.

Fasttalknation.com says it's sponsored by TCSDaily.com, a Web site of Tech Central Station, published by public and government affairs firm DCI Group, Washington, DC. On the TCS site, it lists "a small group of sponsors," including the American Beverage Association, McDonalds Corp., ExxonMobil, General Motors Corp. and Merck. The site also makes the disclaimer that "We are proud to have them as sponsors; however, the opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of the writers and not necessarily of any corporation or other organization."

The Center for Individual Freedom, which identifies itself as an independent organization with 250,000 supporters and activists around the country, says "Schlosser conjures or claims a corporate conspiracy around every corner to explain every wrong that he perceives." Jeff Mazzella, president of the CFIF, wouldn't discuss the group's funding and would not confirm nor deny whether it was acting on behalf of the food industry or McDonald's.
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