Last night I saw an ad placed by the Center for Consumer Freedom, an astroturfing, misleading bunch of asshats. The premise behind the ad is that someone, somewhere, is trying to take away your right to stuff your face with Heart-Attack Specials, McCrispeties, and Munchee-os. The ad actually features the Soup Nazi (from Seinfeld) doing his schtick. The website actually uses phrases like “food fascists.” Both the ad and the website are trying to whip up hysteria surrounding problems that do not exist.

While there have been a couple cases of people suing McDonald’s for their obesity, these have been thrown out of court. This organization is clearly a sort of pre-emptive strike against any further actions to hold major food manufacturers accountable for the content of their products. It’s hard to imagine that bad food will be regulated the way tobacco and alcohol are, the terrifying future that fast-food fearmongers foretell. Restaurant food (like tobacco and alcohol) does not even carry labeling disclosing its contents, and the fast-food lobby is a hell of a lot better organized and funded than the, uh, lobby for people who don’t like fast food.

Apparently these industry tools have set up a sort of link farm, with websites to bash the Center for Science in the Public Interest, another to tell the inside story behind such radical groups as the Sierra Club.

On their “about us” page, they say they are “supported by restaurants, food companies and more than 1,000 concerned individuals.” What concerns me (among other things) is that food companies may include industrial ranching operations, which receive government subsidies. Meaning that, in some way, my tax dollars are funding these clowns.