Anti-Humane Society Ad Funded by Food Industry Interests

pigs-caged_attImage via wikimedia user MaqiIf you were watching the Academy Awards Sunday night, you may have seen a campaign advertisement attacking GAP coalition partner the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The ad emphasizes that HSUS gives only one percent of its budget to animal shelters, but a deeper look at who is funding the campaign suggests the move is really about countering HSUS efforts to hold the food industry accountable.

Mother Jones explains the group behind the campaign, Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF):

The Center for Consumer Freedom largely focuses on opposing laws and regulations that are bad for the food and beverage industries. The group is known for fact-bending ad campaigns downplaying, among other things, the amount of mercury in fish and the number of drunk driving deaths.

Supported by restaurants and other food companies, CCF clearly has donors (though not disclosed) whose bottom line is threatened by the successful tactics of HSUS to reduce animal cruelty in slaughterhouses throughout the country.

But those aren’t the only food industry interests hard at work lately. Proposed "Ag-Gag" legislation, backed by the likes of Monsanto and other agriculture companies, attempts to wrongfully target whistleblowers who expose wrongdoing at farm operations via undercover video. We can't forget it was HSUS video footage that vindicated the late Dr. Dean Wyatt, the former USDA veterinarian who blew the whistle on humane handling violations at two slaughterhouses.

Instead of funding efforts to stigmatize the ones fighting for an accountable supply chain, why don’t agribusinesses direct their dollars to making our food source one of integrity?

Sarah Damian is New Media Associate for the Government Accountability Project, the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization.


Comments (4)

  1. Berman works for the restaurant lobby. Yep, that sounds like a horrible bunch to me alright!
    H$U$ on the other hand should stop exploiting other peoples' animals and put up a picture of a sad looking lobbyist to do their factory fundraising.
  2. If you want to speak out against corporate front groups that make money by attacking animal welfare organizations, please join us at Stop HumaneWatch -

    And you can find out lots more about Center for Consumer Freedom and HumaneWatch here -
  3. I work at the HSUS, and wanted to thank you for helping to expose what Berman is really motivated by (hint - it's not shelter pets). We were recently awarded 4 stars by Charity Navigator, approved by the Better Business Bureau for all 20 standards for charity accountability, voted by GuideStar’s Philanthropedia experts as the #1 high-impact animal protection group, and named by Worth Magazine as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities. We're transparent about the work we do, and proud of it.

    I would encourage everyone to check out our website to see the work that we do, ranging from promoting pet adoption to stopping the seal hunt to pushing for animals to be treated humanely, including those raised for food. Our CEO blogged about a new fund we've set up in Berman's honor, you can learn more about that here:

    For those that want to see our financials, annual reports, here from shelters and rescues we work with, and learn about what issues we work on, visit
  4. Who gives a damn how the ad was funded? Is it true or not?

    (As far as I can tell, it's true. Had it been false, HSUS would be fighting it with facts instead of ad hominem.)

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