Dietitian Speaks up on Food Industry Front Groups

Food Industry Front Groups

Learn more about how food industry front groups attempt to control public discourse. Members of the Los Angeles District (LAD) of California Dietetic Association share information about a very controversial topic!

Download the full report: Best Public Relations Money Can Buy 

(Released by the Center for Food Safety in May 2013)

Written by Michele Simon where you will learn information such as:

What is a Front Group?

  • Represent PR efforts by the food industry (in response to heightened criticism)
  • Reassure media/public/policymakers that our food system is “healthy” and safe
  • Appear to benefit the public, often claiming to represent farmers or consumers (“on your side”)
  • Push industry-friendly science and hide their true agenda/funders (write op-eds as “experts”)


What are Common Front Group Tactics?

  • Main goal to control public discourse (give people “talking points”)
  • Attempt to change the way problems are talked about (downplay or discredit)
  • Common tactics are to “debunk” common “myths” about food and nutrition (“science”)


What are Some Specific Tactics?

  • Astroturfing (Fake Grassroots): pretending to represent the “little guy”
  • Shooting the Messenger: discrediting critics (mockery, “food police” or “extremist”)
  • Buying Science: paying for research (and placing in media) without proper disclosure
  • Scaremongering: preying on people’s fears (typically related to economy) ex: Prop 37 in CA


Food Industry Front Groups

About the author: David A. Wiss
David A. Wiss
David Wiss, MS, RDN is the founder of Nutrition in Recovery, which specializes in: Addictions, Eating Disorders, Mental Health, Body Image, and General Wellness. Mr. Wiss works closely with individuals to help them revolutionize their relationship with food and has shared his expertise with numerous eating disorder and addiction facilities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. David is a nationally recognized expert in nutrition for addiction and is currently working on his Ph.D. in Public Health from UCLA.