- HumaneWatch is a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF). Both are the creation of corporate lobbyist Richard Berman.
- CCF campaigns against public interest groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
- CCF targets public interest groups that oppose and expose unhealthy or unlawful practices (e.g., the use of terminally ill “downer” cows in slaughterhouses).
- CCF receives its primary funding from corporations benefiting from those unhealthy or unlawful practices.
- In 2008, the most recent year tax filings were available, CCF paid 92% of its revenue to Berman and Company, Berman’s wholly-owned, for-profit PR firm.
- CCF is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) charity, yet engages in no charitable activity, has no employees, is run out of Berman and Company’s offices, and has earned millions of dollars in profit for Richard Berman.
- CCF has downplayed the dangers of obesity, mad cow disease, drunk driving, and the effects of mercury contamination on pregnant women.
- CCF’s “Director of Research”, David Martosko, has no scientific training: he was an AM radio talk show producer with a background in music before joining Berman’s payroll.
- CCF has been widely criticized for inaccurate and misleading attacks on public interest groups.
- Numerous media outlets have been obligated to issue retractions and apologies for repeating misinformation given to them by CCF.
- CCF has been obligated to issue retractions for blatantly false accusations against HSUS.
- CCF and HumaneWatch serve corporate interests and profit Richard Berman.
- CCF’s charity status is a sham.
- Disreputable companies employ CCF to harass public interest groups while shielding themselves from public backlash.
- CCF’s goal is to discredit public interest groups by perpetuating myths, misrepresentations, and outright lies.
- HumaneWatch’s goal is to discredit the HSUS with myths, misrepresentations, and outright lies.
For more information:
- CREW’s IRS complaint against CCF
- CCF’s 2008 tax filing, Form 990
- ABC News: Lobbyists Hide Behind Non-Profit Fronts
- CBS News: Meet Rick Berman: A.K.A. “Dr. Evil”
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: Humane Society Fighting A ‘Smear’
- NY Times: Nonprofit Advocate Carves Out Unusual For-Profit Niche
- USA Today: Got A Nasty Fight? Here’s Your Man
- PR Watch: Rich Berman Attacks the Humane Society