by Joseph M. Mercola
May 29, 2013
If you think it's tough sorting truth from industry propaganda and
lies, get ready for even tougher times ahead.
More than 50 front
groups, working on behalf of food and biotechnology trade
groups - Monsanto being the most prominent - have formed a new coalition
called Alliance to Feed the Future.
The alliance, which is being coordinated by the International Food
Information Council (IFIC), was created to "balance the public
dialogue" on modern agriculture and large-scale food production and
technology, i.e. this group will aim to become the go-to source for
"real" information about the junk being sold as "food."
The groups comprising this new alliance represent multi-national
food companies, biotech industry, and chemical companies that
generate hundreds of billions of dollars worth of revenue from food
related sales every year.
On the upside, this alliance and many other industry-sponsored front
groups masquerading as non-profits and consumer protection
organizations are becoming increasingly exposed for what they really
are, and I will point out several of them in this article.
Michele Simon, JD, MPH, policy consultant with Center for
Food Safety recently published a report titled, Best Public Relations
Money Can Buy: A Guide to Food Industry Front Groups 1 also reveals
how the food and agricultural industry hide behind friendly-sounding
organizations aimed at fooling the public, policymakers and media
Many Industry Front Groups Are Created to Dominate Codex Discussions
The Codex Alimentarius Commission, conceived by
the United Nations
in 1962, was birthed through a series of relationships between,
World Health Organization (WHO)
the Food and Agriculture
the World Trade Organization (WTO)
the American FDA
The Codex Alimentarius itself is a compilation of food standards,
codes of practice and guidelines that specify all requirements
related to foods, whether processed, semi-processed, genetically
engineered, or raw.
Its purported purpose is to,
"protect consumers' health, ensure
fair business practices within the food trade, and eliminate
international food trade barriers by standardizing food
There are a number of different working groups that meet regularly
to establish food standards of every imaginable kind.
the Physical Working Group on Food Additives recently held meetings
in Beijing, China. The 45th session of the Codex Committee on Food
Additives (CCFA) ended on March 22.
On the agenda were discussions about aluminum-containing food
additives. Are they safe or should they be eliminated from the
worldwide Codex standards?
The National Health Federation (NHF), the
only health-freedom group allowed to speak at the meeting, dished
out harsh criticism on the additives, calling for their removal.
a Facebook update, the NHF wrote:2
"The usual Codex suspects (the delegations of Australia, the United
States and Canada) plus the trade organizations of the International
Food Additives Council (IFAC) and the International Council of
Grocery Manufacturers Associations (ICGMA) were the industry
apologists for keeping aluminum in food additives.
In dishing out scorching criticism of aluminum's proponents, NHF
came under return fire from Australia, IFAC, and the Chairman.
IFAC - which does not seem to disclose any of its members... along
with its sidekick ICGMA, cried out constantly that the 'Industry'
just could not make it without aluminum food additives. Their
members spraying equipment 'might overheat and catch fire,' IFAC
When NHF suggested that this was a not a genuine issue; that the
industry could easily innovate its way out of this 'problem' and
create non-overheating equipment, NHF was criticized by the Chairman
for suggesting that IFAC might not be telling the truth.
By the end of the day, the success of the EU and NHF could be
tallied by numerous uses of aluminum food additives that the Working
Group will suggest be discontinued to the full Committee meeting...
although there were also many food-additive uses that stayed in
place (albeit usually at reduced levels), no thanks to the
interventions of Australia, the U.S., Canada, IFAC, and ICGMA."
Who's Behind the International Food Additives Council (IFAC)?
The International Food Additives Council (IFAC) is,
association representing companies that produce high quality
substances used worldwide as food ingredients in traditional and
The group is very active in Codex.
But how do you
know who they are, and who they represent, when it's almost
impossible to find out who their members are?
As the NHF noted above, it's virtually impossible to locate a list
of its members (which naturally would indicate sources of funding,
and potentially reveal behind-the-scenes agendas).
But here, I'm making public IFAC's list of officers and board
members as of 2011.
It wasn't easy to find this list, primarily
because IFAC isn't a regular 501(c)(3). In fact, it isn't a
501(c)(3) at all. Actually, it's a 501(c)(6) - an IRS classification
for nonprofit "commercially oriented" organizations such as football
leagues, chambers of commerce and, apparently, groups like IFAC.
Once you know its non-profit classification, you can find its 990
forms - which all non-profits must file, complete with lists of
officers and directors. I obtained IFAC's 990s for the years
2004-2011. And there I learned the truth.
Except for two, who I couldn't find any information at all on, all
of IFAC's officers and directors are linked to processed foods and
additives in some way, with at least six of them having direct or
business links to Monsanto and/or DuPont.
That's right. Six of IFAC's governing board members are linked to the largest
producers in the world.
If you look up these board members' contact information, you'll find
that all contacts for IFAC 3 go to a corporation called
The Kellen Company.
"provides the essential services to advance
associations to the next level of their evolution."
include management, administration, accounting, meeting planning,
membership marketing and strategic advice.
According to the
"Kellen takes the mission and message of each association client and
brings it to audiences large and small, internal and external,
domestic and international.
Utilizing communications tools that are
customized for each association, Kellen identifies the audiences,
develops the strategies, defines the tactics and executes a
planned and carefully reasoned communications plan."
"Our consulting expertise enables us to reorganize association
governance and assets, optimize association resources, extend reach
for U.S. associations into Europe and Asia...
Kellen's team is
expert in all strategic and tactical elements of associations and
can provide insightful analysis and guidance on industry
alignment... establishing new legal entities and building consensus.
Additionally, if you look up IFAC's origins in Internet business
profiles, you'll find that it was formed in 1980 by Patrick M. Farrey, who just so happens to be
The Kellen Company's group vice
In short, The Kellen Company not only is linked to the
formation of IFAC, but also serves as the managing entity behind
And its members, although a proper members list has not been
obtained, are bound to be like their governing body - manufacturers
of food additives, including but certainly not limited to
manufacturers of artificial sweeteners and glutamate (i.e. MSG).
This association is clearly spelled out in the Council's name.
what's troublesome about it is that IFAC represents companies that
create food ingredients in organic products as well, although
there's not a shred of evidence that any person, company or
organization dedicated to organics is actually represented by IFAC.
If that is the case, this means IFAC probably does NOT have any
incentive at all to ensure such ingredients are appropriate for
organic products, and most likely, they will just do what needs to
be done to ensure its members' ingredients are allowed to be used in
organics no matter what.
You need look no further than its board members - and their links to
DuPont, and their managing entity, Kellen - to see what
I'm talking about, because Kellen tells you plainly on its website
where the organization it represents stand when it comes to
Boasting that Kellen and its members joined the "Say No to
Proposition 37" movement in California, Kellen explains right on its
website how they defeated the bill that would have mandated that all
GMO products be labeled as such:
"Almost all of Kellen Company's food clients would have been
negatively affected by
Proposition 37, but no single association was in a
position to lead opposition efforts to GMO labeling.
A coalition was a perfect solution;
our team decided to join the 'No on 37 Coalition,' a
multi-stakeholder group that led opposition efforts and helped
to educate Californian voters about the shortcoming of Prop. 37.
And that story has a happy ending -
the proposition was not passed and food companies in California
are not required to include potentially misleading labeling."
The site goes further, detailing the steps to "success" of this
campaign, advising site visitors:
"With proposed ballot initiatives
beginning to be certified and many states opening their 2013
legislative sessions this month, now is the time to think about
your association's plans should state legislation or a ballot
initiative affecting your industry be introduced in 2013."
Finally, if you have any doubt about what IFAC's goals are, you need
look no further than a PowerPoint presentation 4 that the group is
currently giving at symposia and conventions around the world.
of the slides on this presentation states that IFAC promotes
"independently determined" studies of safety in its members'
By "independent," they explain that this means:
chosen and employed by the manufacturer."
This is the same procedure
that gets Monsanto's products to market: Monsanto gets to do its own
safety studies and submit them to the FDA as "proof" that their
products won't harm you.
Front Groups Working to Keep Harmful Food Additives Hidden and on
The Kellen Company has ties with other major industry players.
According to a 2011 press release,5 one of the Kellen Company
executives was honored as president of the Calorie Control Council,
a non-profit association that represents manufacturers and suppliers
of low-calorie, sugar-free and reduced sugar foods and beverages.
It's also closely tied to the International Council of Grocery
Manufacturers Associations (ICGMA), which, along with IFAC, urged
the Codex working group to keep aluminum in food additives, despite
the many known health risks associated with aluminum.
According to Truthinlabeling.org,6 there are a number of front
groups for the glutamate and artificial sweetener industry in the
In an article titled: "Meet the people who get the job done so
effectively," they write:
"In the United States, the glutamate industry has two arms. Both
work to keep MSG hidden in food. One is the International Hydrolyzed
The second and more active arm is spearheaded by
Ajinomoto's International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC) and
its American subsidiary, The Glutamate Association (TGA), with
representative organizations throughout the world."
Now here's where it gets interesting, as it again shows the
intricate ties of the glutamate industry with the Kellen Company:
"In 1977, the IGTC spun off The Glutamate Association, with both
organizations accommodated under the umbrella of The Robert H.
Kellen Company... a trade organization and association management
firm, specializing in the food, pharmaceutical, and health care
[Editor's note: although not covered in this article,
this is a clue that there are many front groups operating in the
drug and health care industry as well, under the careful management
of the Kellen Company. Such front groups ensure you will NOT get the
truth about drugs and health care issues where corporate profits are
The Encyclopedia of Associations (The Glutamate Association, 1990)
listed Robert H. Kellen as president of The Glutamate Association.
Richard Cristol, executive director of The Glutamate Association,
was also Vice President of The Kellen Company. Cristol assumed
management of the Washington, DC operations of The Kellen Company
and its subsidiary, HQ Services, in 1993...
In 1992, and still in 1998, Andrew G. Ebert, Ph.D., Chairman of the
International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC), was also Senior
Vice President of The Kellen Company. Membership in The Glutamate
Association is secret.
However, a source from within the
glutamate industry, who asked to remain anonymous, told us that
...were among its members; and
Nestle was a former member."
The fact that membership is a secret is telling in and of itself,
and it's quite ironic, considering the Glutamate Association is
ardently working to keep the presence of glutamate in foods and
other products, such as fertilizers and growth promoters, hidden
from the consumer...
But there's more. I've often discussed the
revolving door between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and here
we see the door swinging yet again.
According to another article by
"Influence of the International Glutamate Technical Committee (IGTC)
can be felt at every level.
[Andrew G.] Ebert has served,
Manufacturers of America
the National Food Processors Association
the Institute of Food Technology
the National Research Council of
the National Academy of Sciences Assembly of Life Sciences
American Medical Association
the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Food
Standards Program as an Industry Observer
Food Additives Council (IFAC),
...as Executive Director.
In 1992, FDA
appointed both Andrew G. Ebert, Ph.D., IGTC chairman, and Kristin
McNutt, Ph.D., paid spokesperson for the IGTC, to the FDA Food
At this point, it would appear The Kellen Company is instrumental in
creating and managing front groups for the processed food and
These front groups are specifically created to
mislead you about the product in question, protect industry profits,
and influence regulatory agencies.
This amount of collusion simply
is not necessary for a food or product that is truly safe and has
great intrinsic value, but it must be done for inferior and/or
dangerous products that cannot stand up to closer scrutiny by truly
What's more, it appears all these front groups (there are many
others not specifically mentioned in this article) have been created
in order to have more seats at the Codex meetings, essentially
giving chemical companies and major food manufacturers a much louder
voice, in order to control the decisions made.
Front Man Steven Milloy, and Other Non-Profit Front Organizations
with Ties to Industry
Steven Milloy, author of Green Hell - How Environmentalists Plan to
Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, and owner and
operator of Junkscience.com 8 - a site dedicated to denying
environmental and health concerns related to pollutants and
chemicals, including those used in agriculture and food production -
appears to have been registered as a lobbyist with The EOP Group, a
lobbying firm based in Washington, DC.
Clients of the firm have
the American Crop Protection Association
Edison Electric Institute
Milloy's clients 10 included both
Monsanto and the International Food
Additives Council (IFAC).
Milloy has denied ever being a lobbyist,
claiming that he was "a technical consultant" for the lobbying firm.
"However, Milloy shows up in federal lobbyist registration data for
1997 as having lobbying expenditures on his behalf, indicating his
firm, the EOP Group, believed him to be an active lobbyist,
'technical' or otherwise," TRWNews 11 states in its expose of the
industry front man.
Milloy also headed up the now defunct corporate front group, The
Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC).
TRWNews,12 TASSC and the Junkscience.com site were one and the same.
Integrity in Science,13 which lists non-profit organizations with
close ties to industry, reports that TASSC received financial
support from hundreds of corporations, including the likes of,
Procter & Gamble
it up to you to guess what kind of 'sound science' was advanced by
"Its objective is to act as a speakers bureau to deliver the
corporate message that environmental public policy is not currently
based on 'sound science,' and to counter excessive regulations that
are based on what it considers 'junk' science," Integrity in Science
Other non-profit organizations that are in actuality doing the
bidding of various industry giants include:
Air Quality Standards Coalition,
"created specifically to battle the clean air proposals, the
coalition operates out of the offices of the National
Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based trade
group. Its leadership includes top managers of petroleum,
automotive and utility companies"
Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics,
while sounding like it
would work for your benefit, actually gets "unrestricted grants"
from a long list of pharmaceutical companies
Alliance to Save Energy,
which "supports energy efficiency as a
cost-effective energy resource under existing market conditions and
advocates energy-efficiency policies that minimize costs to society
and individual consumers," was founded by, among others: BP...
American Academy of Pediatrics,
receives $1 million annually from
infant formula manufacturers. Other donors include (but is not
limited to) the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Johnson &
Johnson Consumer Products, both Wyeth's and Merck's vaccine
divisions, the Food Marketing Institute, the Sugar Association, and
the International Food Information Council (IFIC) - which you will
see below, is not only a front group for the glutamate industry;
it's also the coordinating agent for a new alliance of over 50
industry groups aimed at directing the dialogue and altering public
opinion about large-scale, genetically engineered and chemical-based
American Council for Fitness and Nutrition
This one takes the cake
with a member list that includes the American Bakers Association,
the American Meat Institute, the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers
Association, Chocolate Manufacturers Association, Coca-Cola,
Hershey's, National Confectioners Association and many others that
are FAR from suited to devise appropriate "comprehensive, long-term
strategies and constructive public policies for improving
the health and wellness of all Americans"
IFIC Created 'Crisis Management' Protocol in Case Truth Would Be
Although their names may differ, many of the functions of these
groups overlap, as they're really serving the same industry.
TruthInLabeling explains how front groups such as these serve the
distinct interests of the industry, not your or your children's
health, even when their well-chosen name may mislead you to think
Take the International Food Information Council (IFIC)
"In 1990, faced with the threat of a '60 Minutes' segment... that
might expose the toxic potential of monosodium glutamate, IFIC
became actively involved in representing the interests of the
The IFIC represents itself as an 'independent'
organization. It sends attractive brochures to dietitians,
nutritionists, hospitals, schools, the media, and politicians,
proclaiming the safety of monosodium glutamate.
In 1990, an
anonymous person sent us a copy of a 'Communication Plan' dated
July-December 1991, that detailed methods for scuttling the '60
Minutes' segment on MSG, or, failing that, provided for crisis
...Depending on the roles they play, researchers might be considered
agents of the glutamate industry. In addition, there are those who
promote the products of those they work for, just as public
relations firms do, but these organizations highlight the fact that
they are nonprofit corporations, while minimizing the fact that they
promote the products of those who financially support them.
International Food Information Council (IFIC) and the International
Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) are examples of such
50+ Industry Front Groups Form New Alliance to 'Balance Public
Dialogue' on Food Production
As reported by Sustainable Food News 15 on March 17, more than 50 of
these front groups, working on behalf of food and biotechnology
trade groups, have formed a brand new alliance called Alliance to
Feed the Future.
Again, the alliance is being coordinated by the
glutamate-protecting International Food Information Council (IFIC).
The stated aim of the alliance is to,
"balance the public dialogue on
modern agriculture and large-scale food production."
"The Alliance to Feed the Future said 'in an effort to meet the
world's increasing food needs responsibly, efficiently and
affordably,' its members want to 'tell the real story of' and
dispel 'misperceptions about modern food production and
The groups comprising the alliance represent multi-national food,
biotech, and chemical companies that generate hundreds of billions
of dollars-worth of revenue each year.
Some of the most notable of
these 50 industry groups include the very players already mentioned
in this article.
For the full list of all 50+ groups that are part
of the alliance, please see the original article:17
American Soybean Association Biotechnology Industry Organization
(which represents biotech crop giants Monsanto, DuPont, and Syngenta)
Calorie Control Council (which represents the artificial sweetener
Council for Biotechnology Information Grocery Manufacturers
International Food Additives Council (IFAC)
The 55 members of the 'Alliance to Feed the
Communications Program - University of Illinois
of America - Ag Day
American Frozen Food
American Society for
Dressings and Sauces
CA Institute for
Food & Agricultural Research at UC Davis
Center for Food
Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State
Agricultural Science & Technology (CAST)
Institute for Food
Safety and Health
Institute of Food
Shortening and Edible Oils
of Margarine Manufacturers
of Wheat Growers
National Council of
for Animal Agriculture
Institute for Wine & Food Science at UC Davis
United Egg Producers
United Fresh Produce
Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural
Massachusetts Department of Food Science
USA Rice Federation
According to the featured article:18
"When asked by Sustainable Food News what misperceptions the group
seeks to dispel, Dave Schmidt, CEO at the International Food
Information Council, who coordinates the alliance, said the most
common misperceptions - perpetuated by what he calls 'a large
popular culture' that can be found in recent 'books and movies' -
are that 'technology is bad and we need to go back to a time when
there was less technology. Or, food processing or large-scale food
production is bad.'
...The alliance's aim is to educate who he called 'opinion leaders,'
including those in the university sector, professional societies,
journalists and government officials. However, another target
demographic is the 'informed consumer,' who he expects will find the
group's information online.
The Alliance's effort appears to
be an attempt to squelch the growing consumer perception that
modern food production can have a negative impact on the health
of humans and the environment as espoused by the organic and
sustainable food movement."
Meanwhile, close to a dozen of the members of this new industry
alliance have resigned from the Leonardo Academy's National
Sustainable Agriculture Standards Committee,19 which is currently
developing a national standard for sustainable agriculture under the
rules of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
to Russell Williams of the American Farm Bureau Federation, this
exodus occurred because:
"...the committee is dominated by environmental groups,
certification consultants, agro-ecology and organic farming
Based on their recent actions, it is
apparent that these groups have neither the vision nor desire to
speak for mainstream agriculture or the 95 percent of farmers
who will be materially affected by any resulting standard."
Is the Information You're Given Created by a Front Group Pretending
to Be 'Independent'?
As TruthInLabeling points out, the industry has manipulated public
knowledge using innocent-sounding front groups for a very long time.
As I've already shown, the International Food Additives Council (IFAC)
is a perfect example of how industry giants can masquerade as a
so-called non-profit, independent organization.
membership still remains secret, the directors and officers on the IFAC board show quite plainly who's running the show when it comes
to food additives - and IFAC is obviously NOT a group of consumer
Another example can be shown through the distribution of information
about MSG, which has been completely directed by the industry
The Glutamate Association:
"Present FDA practice includes distributing unsolicited copies of an
FDA Medical Bulletin that assures physicians that MSG is safe; and
distributing similar material to food service people.
January-February, 2003 FDA Consumer magazine, the FDA's Michelle
Meadows, in an article titled: MSG: A Common Flavor Enhancer, spewed
out paragraphs that look like they came right off The Glutamate
Association or the International Glutamate Information Service Web
Trying to convince us that MSG is 'safe' while saying
The same goes for genetically engineered crops, prescription drugs,
artificial sweeteners and a whole host of other harmful substances
used in food production and medicine.
You can bet if there's a
harmful substance out there that makes money, there are at least one
or more front groups, posing as independent non-profit
organizations, disseminating anything but independent safety reviews
and information pertaining to it...
As for the Codex meetings, and the Group on Food Additives in
particular; they're being shrewdly manipulated by multiple front
groups, which ensures that their side comes across as the strongest
and most vocal.
It also creates the illusion of consensus, when in
fact it's nothing but collusion... It's high time to pull back the
curtain and see who's really pulling the strings and levers. And
whenever you hear the talking points from Alliance to Feed the
Future or the International Food Additives Council (IFAC), you now
know exactly who is talking, and why.
It's an alliance of
multi-national food, biotech-, and chemical companies that are
hell-bent on protecting hundreds of billions of dollars-worth of
annual revenue in the face of a burgeoning organic and sustainable
Believe what they tell you at your own risk...
I recently named
the GMA (Grocery Manufacturers
Association) "the most evil corporation on the planet,"
considering the fact that it consists primarily of pesticide
producers and junk food manufacturers who are going to great lengths
to violate some of your most basic rights - just to ensure that
subsidized, genetically engineered and chemical-dependent, highly
processed junk food remains the status quo.
The insanity has gone far enough.
It's time to unite and fight back,
which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned
by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands.